Russia threatens to retaliate against US, EU sanctions


Russia on Wednesday threatened to retaliate against the sanctions imposed on it by the US and the EU for allegedly poisoning an opposition leader.

In a statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry, spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the US administration, teaming up with the EU, has made a hostile move towards Russia by announcing new sanctions “to punish Moscow”.

The US and EU on Tuesday had imposed sanctions on Russia over the alleged poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny with Novichok nerve agent and his subsequent arrest and detention.

Reacting sharply to the anti-Russian sanctions, Kremlin said that the move indicated that the White House is again trying to cultivate the image of an external enemy while it is badly enmeshed in its own domestic problems at home.

Describing the US policy as devoid of “logic and common sense”, Zakharova said that it is increasingly aggravating bilateral relations that Washington has already brought to a complete halt.

In a stern comment, she said that absurdity triumphs when the reason behind the sanctions is based on Alexey Navalny’s alleged “poisoning” with some toxic “chemical warfare” agent.

This is just a pretext for the continuing undisguised interference in our domestic affairs, and we will not accept this, she said.

“Based on the principle of reciprocity, we will respond but not necessarily with symmetrical measures,” the Foreign Ministry threatened.

Russia, the spokesperson said, can only assume that the US administration does not realise that times have changed and that in the current geopolitical realities, attempts to dictate one’s will to others are counterproductive for those who are unable to quit this approach.

“Instead of instigating a new round of confrontation, the US should concentrate on the honest implementation of its commitments, for example, on the destruction of its chemical weapons, weapons Russia hasn’t possessed since 2017,” the ministry said.

The Russian spokesperson said that the US finds it difficult to understand and accept the idea that their claims to exclusivity are baseless. Any hopes to impose something on Russia by way of sanctions or other pressure have failed in the past and will fail now, the ministry warned.

“If the US is not ready for an equitable and reasonable dialogue, it is their choice,” the spokesperson said, adding that Russia will continue to consistently and resolutely uphold its national interests and rebuff any aggression, regardless of the US enthusiasm for sanctions.

“We urge our colleagues not to play with fire,” she said, adding that as a serial violator of international treaties and agreements on arms control and non-proliferation of weapons, Washington is, by definition, deprived of the moral right to “lecture” others.