MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Saturday, the United States announced new sanctions on eight Russian companies for alleged nonproliferation-related violations. The Russian Foreign Ministry said the move contradicts the White House's alleged desire to improve relations with Moscow.
The official noted that the sanctions decisions were then delivered to Congress on March 21 as part of a report related to violations of the US Iran, North Korea, and Syria Nonproliferation Act (INKSNA).
"We are open to working with the administration of President Donald Trump to improve the situation in relations. However, this can only be achieved if Washington really takes into account our national interests and treats Russia as an equal partner," Lavrov told Russia's Argumenty i Fakty weekly.
The previous US President Barack Obama's administration ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats, the closure of two Russian diplomatic compounds and new sanctions against six Russian individuals and five entities over Moscow's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, something the Kremlin has repeatedly denied.
Russian officials have called the US allegations absurd, saying that they are intended to deflect US public opinion from revelations of corruption and other pressing domestic concerns.