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'Pragmatism': Kremlin Explains Reason Why US Amended Sanctions on Russia's FSB

The Kremlin does not tend to consider the US' amending of some restrictions against Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) as the easing of the sanctions regime, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Thursday, the US Treasury issued a license permitting certain transactions with the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which has been sanctioned over alleged interference into the 2016 US presidential election. The Treasury specified that payments of any fees to the FSB for the received permits and licenses should not exceed $5,000 per year.

"We do not tend to assess this step as any sanctions alleviation. Most likely, this is a manifestation of US pragmatism," Peskov told reporters.

US Senator John McCain attends a news conference at the Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico City, Mexico December 20, 2016. - Sputnik International
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The White House commented on the move and said that the United States is not easing sanctions against Russia.

On December 30, then-US President Barack Obama announced new sanctions against several Russian organizations, including the FSB, and individuals in retaliation for Moscow’s alleged hacking into US political institutions. Washington is expelling 35 Russian diplomats on spying charges and is closing down two Russian-owned compounds in the US.

Russian officials have repeatedly denied the US allegations of election interference, characterizing them as absurd and laughable nonsense. Moreover, they have said such allegations are intended to deflect US public attention from revelations of corruption and other pressing domestic concerns.

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