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Russian Embassy in US Slams New Anti-Moscow Sanctions as Blow to Bilateral Ties

The US has unveiled new anti-Russian sanctions over what it called Moscow's "malign activity" around the world; the sanctions target businessman Oleg Deripaska, along with Rusal and En+ Group controlled by him, Viktor Vekselberg and Renova Group, the head of Gazprom Alexey Miller, and VTB Bank President Andrey Kostin.

The Russian embassy in the US has lashed out at new anti-Russian sanctions, saying it was another blow to bilateral relations. The embassy pointed out that new sanctions target Russian people contrary to the US claims, adding that Washington's move would further complicate efforts to restore US-Russia relations by targeting lawmaker Kosachev, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of Russia's Federation Council.

Some people on the new sanctions list have so far commented on the issue. Nikolai Patrushev believes that Russian businessmen who have fallen under US sanctions will be able to find ways to compensate for the damage caused by the restrictions.

He added that the current climate creates a "good potential for economic cooperation with other countries (with the exception of the United States)."

New US sanctions against Russian state arms exporter Rosoboronexport are unfair competition, Russian state corporation Rostec, which includes Rosoboronexport, said Friday.

"We are still examining this document, we have not made any final conclusions yet. However, the fact that Rosoboronexport was targeted confirms the true aim of these sanctions. All of these loud words and accusations are a pretext to squeeze Russia out of the global arms market… This is unfair competition," a Rostec spokesperson said.

Russian aluminum company Rusal said Friday it regrets that it was put on the US sanctions list.

"Rusal has been informed about inclusion in the sanctions list, the company regrets this development of events and is analyzing the situation with legal consultants," Rusal said.

The latest US sanctions against the Russian weapons trading company Rosoboronexport is connected to its longstanding ties with the Syrian government, the US Treasury Department said in a press release.

"Rosoboroneksport is being designated under E.O. 13582 for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of, the Government of Syria," the release said.

Commenting on the news, Gazprom's head, Alexey Miller, said that that he was glad to be on the sanctions list.

"Not making the first list of sanctions, there were some doubts: Did something go wrong? But no, I'm finally included. So, we are doing everything right," he said as cited by NTV channel.

The US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control has announced new sanctions on 38 Russian individuals and entities.

The US included on its "black list" the head of Gazprom Alexei Miller, VTB Bank President Andrey Kostin, Minister of Internal Affairs Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Chairman of the Council of the Federation Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev, Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies Mikhail Fradkov, Commander of Russian National Guard Viktor Zolotov and Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation Alexander Torshin, the Treasury said.

The sanctions also target businessmen Oleg Deripaska, Igor Rotenberg, Kirill Shamalov and Viktor Vekselberg, the release said.

US Treasury Department said that it also sanctions Russia's United Company Rusal, Russian Machines, Basic Element, Renova Group Gaz Group, Kuban Agro, Gazprom Drilling, Gazprom Burenie.

READ MORE: US Intelligence Had Role in New Sanctions Against Russian Businessmen — Reports

Sanctions Coordinated With Allies

"Today's actions were very carefully coordinated both within government and with our allies. We are in frequent communication with US allies, particularly in Europe and have been committed throughout this process to making sure that key allies are aware of the decisions that are being made, what the next steps are, and of course we're also taking steps in our engagements with them to see and mitigate any unintended consequences," a senior administration official said in a press briefing on Friday.

Earlier, a US official told Bloomberg that between six and 10 'oligarchs' would be targeted as part of the US retaliation for 'Russian meddling' in the 2016 presidential election.

People visit Zaryadye Nature-Landscape Park in Moscow, Russia. Background from left: Spasskaya (Savior) Tower of the Moscow Kremlin and domes of Intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos on the Moat Cathedral (St. Basil's Cathedral) - Sputnik International
Russia to Expand ‘Blacklist’ of US Citizens in View of Latest Sanctions – Moscow
On Thursday, the Washington Post, citing some unnamed US officials, reported that The US administration intended to introduce sanctions against a number of Russians included in the so-called "Kremlin report". According to the media reports, the sanctions will target "oligarchs" who have "ties" with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Recently, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow has not received official confirmation of reports in foreign media on the US possible plans to put Russian businessmen on its sanctions lists.

He added that the times when there were ‘oligarchs' in Russia are long gone.

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