MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. The US lawmakers are using the issue of sanctions to prevent Russia from taking part in the settlement of energy problems in Europe, their initiatives to impose sanctions against high-ranking Russian officials are ‘the triumph of the absurd’, the chairman of the 7th Duma’s committee for international affairs, Leonid Slutsky, said on the Soloviev Live YouTube channel on Thursday.
"This is simply the triumph of the absurd, you can’t put it in any other words. Of course [the US] wants to somehow push us aside from the settlement of Europe’s gas problems," Slutsky said. However, Russia will in any case "help all wise partners" even if cooperation will face difficulties somewhere, he pledged.
American legislators’ suggestions regarding sanctions are "an attempt to ruin even those modest constructive proposals that were hammered out by the presidents of Russia and the US" at the summit in Geneva.
In September, the US House of Representatives' Rules Committee passed an amendment to the defense budget, which recommends the US administration consider imposing sanctions against 35 Russian citizens, including government ministers, major businessmen, public figures and journalists.
According to the document, the US lawmakers believe that the Russian citizens mentioned may be involved in violations of human rights.
The list in question includes Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Central Election Commission chief Ella Pamfilova, First Deputy Chief of the Presidential Staff Sergey Kiriyenko, Minister of Agriculture Dmitry Patrushev, and Health Minister Mikhail Murashko among others.
Other officials on the list are Russian National Guard Director Viktor Zolotov, federal security service FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, Investigative Committee Chairman Alexander Bastrykin, St. Petersburg's Governor Alexander Beglov, and Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin.
This amendment has the status of a recommendation.