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    New US Sanctions Won't Keep Russia From Defending Its National Interests

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia will take a decision on the response to a new round of US sanctions based on its own interests, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday.

    "No, we have to understand what form these new measures, new restrictions will really take, and what actions in the interests of the Russian Federation they will require. I would like to reiterate that the president has repeatedly stated that he will do what will be best consistent with the interests of our country against the backdrop of such unfriendly steps," Peskov said, when asked whether a decision had been made on the retaliatory measures against the new US sanctions.

    READ MORE: New Washington's Anti-Russian Sanctions Come Into Force

    Washington is using a far-fetched pretext of the so-called Skripal affair for introducing new sanctions against Russia, but Moscow will not abandon the protection of its own national interests despite the new restrictions, Russian Foreign Ministry's spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Monday.

    "[The United States] uses a far-fetched link to the so-called Skripal affair, the investigation of which in the United Kingdom is far from being completed, we are accused of involvement in the Salisbury tragedy, Russia’' elimination of its arsenal of chemical weapons is questioned … All the accusations voiced are ephemeral, while the restrictions enforced today are quite real, although they repeat the already existing ones in many aspects," Zakharova said in a statement.

    READ MORE: US Anti-Russia Sanctions Ban Loans, Arms Export and Dual-Use Goods — State Dept

    The ministry's spokeswoman stressed that the new US sanctions could not "force Russia to abandon the chosen path to firmly defend its national interests."

    "We view Washington's decision only as part of a deliberate policy to erode the international structure in the sphere of arms control and non-proliferation, including in the area of banning chemical weapons," the statement read.

    Zakharova noted that the sanctions imposed by Washington further complicated possible dialogue with Russia in the existing multilateral and bilateral formats.

    New US sanctions against Russia in connection with the nerve agent attack on the Skripals in Salisbury, England, are both illegitimate and one-sided, the Russian Embassy in Washington, DC said in a statement on Monday as the new measures came into force.

    "Washington issued another set of illegitimate one-sided sanctions against Russia. It feels like local politicians have an unhealthy craving for demolishing the fundamental basis of bilateral relations, on which rests the global security," the statement said.

    The statement said the worst Cold War scenarios are currently taking shape and that ever new action on sanctions by the United States moves the world farther away from resolving important international issues, including the fight against terror and having weapons of mass destruction fall into the hands of non-government actors.

    Russia does not accept the new sanctions, and the measures will not have any effect on the country's foreign policy, the statement added.

    Earlier in the day, the new US sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the poisoning of double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia came into forces. The restrictive measures terminated US arms sales to Russia as well as the financing of arms sales, and prohibited exports of national security-sensitive goods and technology.

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