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Top Russian lawmaker castigates Washington for being gripped by ‘sanctions craze’

Publication of the so-called "Kremlin list" is crude intervention in Russia’s sovereign affairs and the election process, Valentina Matvienko said

MOSCOW, January 30. /TASS/. Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko believes that Washington had no reasons to release new lists and that American politicians are "gripped by a sanctions craze."

"It seems that those who are currently setting the tone for US policy have been smitten with a very dangerous illness - I would call it a sanctions craze. There were no reasons to publish a new list," Matviyenko told reporters, commenting on the Kremlin List published by the US Department of Treasury which includes her as well.

Publication of the so-called "Kremlin list" by the US Department of the Treasury is crude intervention in Russia’s sovereign affairs and the election process ahead of the Russian presidential election due on March 18, Matviyenko said.

"The decision to include in this list the country’s political leadership, including the prime minster, can be called in no way other than crude intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. The very publication of this list on the eve of the presidential election is certainly crude intervention in the election process," Matviyenko told the media.

In her opinion this is an attempt to influence minds and destabilize the situation in society, as well as an attempt to intimidate people.

"It won’t work. We’ve seen this many a time. Nothing will come of it. Only people who are ignorant of the history of our country and our people can indulge in such speculations," Matviyenko said.

She believes that the United States will achieve nothing but the "reverse effect - greater consolidation of society around the president on the eve of such a major political event."