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Russia’s lower house drafts bill retaliating US sanctions

It is too early to discuss details, Duma’s Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said

ST PETERSBURG, October 14. /TASS/. Russia’s lower house of parliament, State Duma, drafts a bill retaliating the US anti-Russian sanctions, but it is too early to discuss details, Duma’s Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin told reporters on Saturday.

"I do not want to comment yet. We consider the issue," he answered when asked about a possibility of approving such a bill.

"We are drawing up the issue, but cannot present it yet or give details about its contents," Volodin added. "The issue is being scrutinized.".

Crisis in Russian-US relations

In August, US President Donald Trump signed into law a bill toughening US sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea. The bill ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act’ legalized restrictive measures imposed on Russia by the Obama administration. Former US President Barack Obama issued relevant decrees on 6 March and 18 December 2014, 1 April 2015, 26 July and 29 December 2016.

The sanctions created enormous obstacles to cooperation between Russian and US Armed Forces, special services and defense industries. Russian companies, primarily the energy ones, were denied Western loans. Besides, the law gives green light to new sanctions (bank assets freezes, non-issuance of US entry visas and so on) for "activities undermining cybersecurity … on behalf of the Government of the Russian Federation."

On September 2, the US authorities seized control of the buildings of the Russia’s consulate-general in San Francisco and trade mission in Washington, though both are Russian property and enjoy diplomatic immunity. Russian officials have been banned from the leased offices of the Russian trade mission in New York. The offices have searched by US officials since then.