12:31 GMT01 April 2020
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    The recent extension of US sanctions against Russia was a "routine process" and Washington may lift the restrictive measures at any time, spokesman for the US Embassy in Moscow William Stevens said Thursday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama extended sanctions against Russia, which had been imposed in March 2014.

    "Yesterday was a routine process, sanctions are implemented at the discretion of the president of the United States, so he can implement them or take them away at any moment. And they're in place for one year, so I guess there was a routine renewal of the ones that were put in place a year ago," Stevens said.

    The spokesman noted that the United States has been "very clear all along" that it will continue working with Russia on areas of mutual interest despite current tensions and the sanctions regime.

    On Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow regrets Washington's decision to extend sanctions against Russia.

    Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated over Crimea's reunification with Russia, as well Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian internal conflict, claims that Moscow had repeatedly denied. The United States, as well as the European Union and some other countries, imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia's energy, banking and defense industries, prompting Moscow to respond with a food embargo.


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