Peskov
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov
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. He said:
"We regard any such restrictions as absolutely unacceptable. They cause considerable harm to relations, which are already in a deplorable condition. They [sanctions] are nothing but interference in Russia's internal affairs."
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. As it is, these people do not go abroad, do not have the right to open accounts at foreign banks and do not have the right to own property abroad. This cannot be said for some legal entities [against] whom [the sanctions] were also announced."
Asked if the Kremlin could offer an explanation as to 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. In this connection we can merely express regret and surprise."
Retaliation

Russia's agencies concerned will submit to the country's leadership a draft of retaliatory measures in the wake of the latest restrictions by the EU and the US, Dmitry Peskov stated.
"We will coordinate our own sanctions. The agencies concerned will submit the corresponding proposals to the leadership. The measures will be approved, made public and let known to our opponents in this affair."
Peskov added that the response to these restrictions would accommodate Russia's interests in the best way. The principle of requital would be observed. "There is the principle of requital and it cannot be avoided in interstate relations," he remarked.

On Tuesday, Washington introduced a new round of sanctions over the Navalny case against Director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov and four more individuals, as well as a number of enterprises and institutions.

The US sanctions particularly include a "denial to Russia of any credit, credit guarantees, or other financial assistance" by US government agencies and a "prohibition on the export to Russia" of security-sensitive goods and technology. The sanctions also target, among others, the 33rd Central Research Institute and the 27th Scientific Center of the Russian Defense Ministry and the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology.

On the same day, the European Union expanded its own sanctions against Russia, blacklisting the Prosecutor General, Head of the Russian Investigative Committee Alexander Bastrykin, Head of the Federal Penitentiary Service Alexander Kalashnikov and Director of the National Guard Viktor Zolotov. They are all banned from entering the EU and having bank accounts at EU banks.