20 March, 21:26

Moscow puzzled by some of names on US sanctions list - Putin spokesman

Moscow puzzled by some of names on US sanctions list - Putin spokesman

Moscow is studying Washington's list of individuals against whom sanctions were imposed, and already puzzled by some of the names, Russian President's Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

"One can say straight away that we are extremely bewildered by the presence of some names on the list," Peskov said.

"So far I cannot say what the reaction is of other people on the US list but Ivanov perceived the news with humor," the president's press secretary said.

Ivanov spent 20-odd years serving in the KGB's First Main Directorate and later in the Russian External Intelligence Service, Peskov recalled.

"As a result of his intelligence activities he was already banned entry to a majority of countries in the West. So he is quite accustomed to this situation," Peskov said.

"Whatever names figure on this list, the very practice of appearance of any lists is unacceptable for us," he added.

"At any rate, Russia's reaction to these lists will be based on the principle of reciprocity and will not take long," the presidential spokesperson said. At the moment, "we need to understand exactly what these sanctions (imposed by the US against Russian officials) are about," Peskov added.

The new US measures targeted a new list of 20 lawmakers and senior government officials and other key figures in addition to 11 people already sanctioned by Washington.

Obama announces sanctions on more Russian officials, banks

The United States will impose new sanctions against Russia in addition to the ones imposed earlier this week due to Moscow’s political course towards Ukraine, US President Barack Obama said on Thursday. At the same time, he stressed that diplomatic talks between Russia and the United States should go on.

The American leader specified that the new measures are imposed against Russian high-ranking officials and other people who did not belong to authorities in Moscow, but who, as Washington believes, support actions of the Russian government against Ukraine. Obama added that one Russian bank was also included in the list. However, the president did not disclose the name of the bank.

Spokesperson of the US administration later specified during a telephone briefing for journalists that the new list included 20 Russian officials.

Obama said he has signed on Thursday a new executive order allowing the US administration to apply sanctions against key sectors of Russian economy. However, the president acknowledged that applying such measures might have negative impact on the whole global economy.

On Monday, Obama warned that the US would introduce additional sanctions against Russia, if it continues interfering with Ukraine’s affairs.

March 17, USA published a black list of Russian and Ukrainian officials. The list includes presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev, Head of State Duma Committee for CIS Affairs Leonid Slutsky, Head of Federation Council's Committee for constitutional legislation Andrei Klishas, Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Chair of the Duma committee for family, women and children affairs Yelena Mizulina, Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Aksyonov, Crimean State Council Speaker Vladimir Konstantinov, leader of the Ukrainian Choice public movement Viktor Medvedchuk and Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych.

Their assets in the US will be frozen, and Americans will be banned from getting into business contacts with the officials on the list.

Apart from that, a new executive order of the US president has been adopted. This order forms the basis of sanctions against the aforementioned persons. In addition, the document allows introducing punitive measures against persons and organizations serving the interests of Russia’s military industry, as well as providing material support to people included in the black list.

Voice of Russia, AFP, RIA, Interfax

Voice of Russia, Interfax

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