MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. The second round of US sanctions imposed on Moscow over the Skripal case is a blatant provocation designed to create a propagandist effect, Russian Foreign Ministry's official spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a commentary published on Friday.
"The United States keeps on using last year’s stitch-up over the poisoning of the British ex-agent and his daughter in the United Kingdom in order to escalate relations with Russia," Zakharova said. "It is a blatant provocation, whose participants have been harbored until now because of the fears of disclosure, is once more serving as a pretext to draw up sanctions against Russia on the basis of the US Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 and the White House executive order issued on Thursday," she added.
"As we have already stated, the authors of multiple sanctions lists are now counting mainly on the propagandist effect, on the persistent promotion of the sanctions theme in media space," she noted.
The diplomat pointed out that the announced sanctions were largely copying the anti-Russian restrictions imposed in recent years.
"The US administration prohibited their banks from providing any loans long ago; it has hindered Russia’s cooperation with international financial development institutions and has suspended purchases of many types of technology and goods. There is nothing especially new in that," Zakharova said, noting that the US attempts to compel Russia to reverse its domestic and foreign policies had totally failed.
"The fact that the current sanctions will be the 72nd round since 2011 has manifested failure of the previous pressure attempts and hopelessness of the pending ones. Washington just shows its impotence," the diplomat stressed.
"Russia will be continuing its steady growth, will be boosting the economy and bolstering defense capabilities, and will be stepping up its influence on the global arena despite the above-mentioned blackmail of sanctions," she concluded.
On August 1, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order, which stipulates the procedure of sanctioning the country found to have breached the US Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. The act was used as a legal justification for slapping the first round of sanctions on Russia over the Skripal case at the end of August in 2018