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    U.S. President Donald Trump (R) meets with Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S. June 20, 2017

    'Token Gesture': US Anti-Russia Sanctions Aimed to Smoothen Poroshenko's Visit

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    New sanctions against Russia imposed by the United States are very limited in scope and were a token gesture for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko who was on an official visit to Washington at that time, the leader of the Belgian right-wing People’s Party, Mischael Modrikamen, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On June 20, the US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) introduced sanctions against some 40 individuals and entities on the pretext of their alleged involvement in the ongoing conflict in Donbass. The new sanctions include freezing of assets subject to US jurisdiction and prohibit US individuals from doing business with them. The Department of the Treasury’s move comes after the US Senate voted in favor of extending sanctions against Russia over its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election on June 14.

    The sanctions were announced during Poroshenko’s official visit to the United States.

    “This decision by the American Foreign Assets Control is very probably an effort by the American government to sweeten the visit of the Ukrainian president Poroshenko. The measures don't go very far and are limited to a few tens of persons, so it is probably a token gesture,” Modrikamen said.

    Modrikamen noted that the new US sanctions indicated how Crimea is still being used by Washington to justify imposing and extending sanctions against Russia.

    “It is disturbing in the sense that the USA seems to revive the tensions about Crimea, which is and should be a 'closed case.' Crimea and the Sevastopol region are now two regions of Russia, what they should never have ceased to be … Crimea is Russian. Everybody knows it, even the Ukrainians,” he said.

    Modrikamen stressed the United States should stop imposing anti-Russian sanctions as they were mainly harmful for the EU member states by triggering Russia’s reciprocal measures and restrictions on import of European products.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called the new US sanctions a "Russophobic obsession" going beyond all measure. Lavrov also criticized the European Union for keeping sanctions despite the fact that the Russian side of the Minsk accords on Ukrainian crisis settlement was fulfilled.

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

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    sanctions, People's Party, Mischael Modrikamen, Petro Poroshenko, Crimea, United States, Ukraine, Russia
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