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Washington denies new anti-Russian sanctions part of 'hostile' policy

Russian deputy foreign minister said earlier that Moscow has no idea what "hostile moves" the outgoing US leadership might make next
US Department of State spokesman John Kirby  EPA/YONHAP
US Department of State spokesman John Kirby

WASHINGTON, December 21. /TASS/. Another round of US sanctions against Russia, announced Tuesday, should not be viewed as a display of Washington’s hostile policy toward Russia, a US Department of State spokesman said.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said late Tuesday that Moscow has no idea of "next hostile moves" that the outgoing US leadership might make and braced for any negative developments in unpredictable relations with Washington. "There has been no logic in their behavior for a long time and we have got accustomed to this generally speaking," he added.

"I won’t be surprised if on January 20, the day of inauguration of the next US president, one minute before Donald Trump takes office, at 11:59, we will once again see behind some curtain, in the corner those who continuously produce this kind of decisions once again inventing certain rescripts, decisions, pushing into an abyss relations with Russia that are already in tatters due to Washington’s irresponsible and senseless policy," the diplomat said.

"We would strongly disagree and differ with that," Kirby said, adding that the decision by the Treasury Department "had nothing to do with the time on the clock" of the departing Obama administration.

"It had to do with holding Russia accountable for what its - for its violation of Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty. That’s what it had to do with. It had nothing to do with the calendar," he went on.

The United States broadened the sanction list against Russia related to developments in Ukraine, the US Treasury Department said in its statement. Seven individuals, several dozens of organizations and two vessels under the Russian flag were included into the list.

Moscow replied that it would expand its lists of sanctions and will search for a possible asymmetric response.