Kremlin blasts new EU, US sanctions as intervention in Russia’s affairs

The latest sanctions by the United States and the European Union against Russian individuals and organizations are intervention in Russia’s internal affairs, Russian presidential spokesman, Dmitry Peskov told the media on Wednesday, adding that such restrictions were unacceptable.

"We regard any such restrictions as absolutely unacceptable," Peskov said. "They cause considerable harm to relations, which are already in a deplorable condition."

The spokesman explained that he was referring to Russia’s relations with the United States and the European Union. "They [sanctions] are nothing but interference in Russia’s internal affairs," he stressed.

He added though that the new sanctions introduced against several Russian citizens essentially duplicate the restrictions placed on them under the Russian legislation.

"If one talks about specific people against whom the so-called sanctions, or rather restrictions, were introduced, then it is practically a duplication of those restrictions that are placed on these people under the Russian laws," the Kremlin representative said.

Asked if the Kremlin had an explanation why the United States and the European Union had selected a strategy of targeted restrictions, Peskov replied: "It is not our concern to explain motivations."

He added that in general such decisions - be they targeted or not - were regarded by the Kremlin as "absurd and groundless."

"Moreover, they are unable to yield any effect and devoid of any sense," Peskov said. "In this connection we can merely express regret and surprise."

The US Department of the Treasury on Tuesday announced that it had blacklisted seven Russian officials, including Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, Head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Kalashnikov and Director of the National Guard Viktor Zolotov, over the situation involving blogger Alexey Navalny. Sanctions were also imposed on several organizations. The European Union also officially introduced new sanctions over the Navalny case on Tuesday. (TASS)