12:22 GMT23 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian upper house's International Affairs Committee head Konstantin Kosachev called the new US sanctions targeting, in particular, China's Equipment Development Department (EDD) for purchasing Russian arms an instrument of unfair competition.

    The US State Department also said in a press release on Thursday that Washington had added 27 individuals and six entities to its Russian defense and intelligence sector blacklist, meaning that anyone who does business with them will face mandatory US sanctions under CAATSA.

    READ MORE: US Sanctions Chinese Entity Over Purchase of Russian Fighters, S-400s — Treasury

    "The US Treasury Department included in the Russian part of the sanctions list under the CAATSA law China's Equipment Development Department and its director Li Shangfu for purchasing Russian military hardware and our fighter jets, in particular. Everything is completely banal. Sanctions are used as a weapon of unfair competition — all of this we perfectly remember from the situation with the Nord Stream 2," Kosachev said on Facebook.

    According to Kosachev, the inclusion of "businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin and his firm" in the sanction list as well as names of "Russian military intelligence service (GRU) officers" is aimed at forming an impression of the evidence of the accusations against them, and this is not the first time that punishment serves as evidence.

    On Thursday, a senior US administration official said that Washington had sanctioned EDD and its Director Li Shangfu for buying missile defense systems and combat aircraft from Russia in violation of the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

    The United States passed the CAATSA legislation in August 2017 in response in part to Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 US presidential election.

    Russia has denied all allegations of meddling in the election, calling the accusations "absurd."


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