Russia vows retaliation for new US sanctions: ‘We do not intend to put up with this’

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Officials in Moscow are vowing retaliation after President Biden this week announced sanctions for the poisoning and jailing of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. 

“All this is just an excuse to continue overt interference in our internal affairs,” Maria Zakharova, a Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman, said in a statement released late Tuesday, according to Reuters. “We do not intend to put up with this. We will respond based on the principle of reciprocity, but not necessarily symmetrically.”

The Biden administration earlier in the day said it plans to issue sanctions and accused Russia’s intelligence agency of attempting to kill Navalny. The outspoken critic of the Kremlin and Russian President Vladimir Putin was poisoned late last summer and has since recovered. 

“Our goal is to have a relationship with Russia that is predictable and stable. Where there are opportunities for it to be constructive, and it is in our interest, we intend to pursue them. Given Russia’s conduct in recent years, there will also undoubtedly be adversarial elements and we will not shy away from those,” a senior administration official told The Hill this week. “The United States is neither trying to reset our relations with Russia nor are we seeking to escalate.”

The new sanctions on Russia target seven high-ranking officials in the country. The U.S. is also imposing export controls on several business entities involved in biological agent production.

The administration used the authority granted under the 1991 Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act to expand sanctions on Russia imposed in response to the March 2018 poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, in Great Britain. 

Moscow dismissed the latest sanctions, suggesting they have no teeth and lack merit.

“Irrespective of America’s ‘sanctions addiction’, we will continue to consistently and decisively defend our national interests, rebuffing any aggression. We urge our colleagues not to play with fire,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. 

Tags Alexei Navalny Foreign relations of Russia Joe Biden Poisoning of Alexei Navalny Vladimir Putin

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