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    US Sanctions on Russia Aimed at Challenging Trump on Palestine-Israel Settlement

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    Moscow does not rule out that the outgoing administration of US President Barack Obama imposed new sanctions against Russia in order to create additional difficulties for the team of US President-elect Donald Trump on the Palestinian-Israeli settlement, a diplomatic source told RIA Novosti on Friday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russia supported the UN Security Council resolution on Palestine according to its principled stance on the problem, formed many years ago, the source noted.

    "We are convinced that this initiative of Obama administration was dictated not by a desire to achieve problem's resolution, but by an attempt to create additional challenges to Trump administration on this issue [Israeli-Palestinian settlement]," the source said.

    "Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov informed US State Secretary John Kerry that Russia has no intention to support US administration proposals on the Palestinian-Israeli issues," the source added.

    On December 23, the UN Security Council passed a resolution in a 14-0 vote, with the only abstention from the United States, condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The resolution states that Israel should immediately and completely cease all settlement activities on "occupied Palestinian territory," including in East Jerusalem.

    On Thursday, Obama announced sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities and expelled 35 diplomats over Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 election and claims of harassment against US diplomats in Russia, which the Kremlin has denied.

    Earlier on Friday, Putin said Russia would not expel anyone as a response to the new US sanctions.

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    Tags:
    anti-Russian sanctions, Barack Obama, Israel, Palestine, United States, Russia
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