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Russia can’t leave new western sanctions without response - official

ST. PETERSBURG, September 14. /ITAR-TASS/. New sanctions imposed by some western countries against Russia over its stance on the Ukraine crisis have no grounds and Moscow cannot leave them without response, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko said on Sunday.

“I perceived information about a new round of sanctions against Russia with bewilderment and big regret,” the head of the upper house of the Russian parliament said.

The sanctions against Russia were imposed despite a continued ceasefire reached between east Ukraine’s self-defense fighters and the Ukrainian troops with Moscow’s mediation.

“These are unfriendly steps and there is an impression that there were absolutely no grounds for that. Finally, peaceful actions and negotiations for the settlement of the situation have started and, what is the most important thing, people have stopped to be killed,” the Federation Council speaker said.

It is counterproductive to speak the language of sanctions, Matviyenko said.

“But Russia cannot leave them without response. Our reaction, however, should be calm and weighted,” the Federation Council speaker said.

Other countries will sustain no smaller losses from their sanctions against Russia while Moscow has “strong potential” to overcome negative consequences, Matviyenko said.

“Russia will do everything possible to ensure that a fragile peace in Ukraine is maintained and combat operations are not resumed. But attempts to weaken Russia politically and economically will fail,” Matviyenko said.

“We intend to continue interaction with all countries for developing cooperation. I hope the situation is temporary and the anti-Russia hysteria will soon end,” the Federation Council speaker said.

The EU’s official journal published new sanctions against Russia earlier this week.

The fresh sanctions reduce the period of lending for state-run Russian banks Sberbank, VTB, VEB, Gazprombank and Russian Agricultural Bank from 90 to 30 days.

The same restriction now applies to oil majors Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft, defense producers Uralvagonzavod and Oboronprom and the United Aircraft-building Corporation. The European Union put 24 more names on the blacklist for Russia and Ukraine, bringing the total number of officials to 119.