Russia warns Moscow will respond to US sanctions 'reciprocally'

AFP , Tuesday 28 Aug 2018

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Moscow will take reciprocal measures in response to Washington's latest sanctions, in an interview to a Slovak newspaper published on Tuesday.

His comments are the latest by a number of Russian officials indicating Moscow will retaliate against the measures.

"We will continue to act calmly and pragmatically, reacting to all attacks in accordance with the principle of reciprocity," Lavrov told the Slovak paper Pravda.

The interview was also published in Russian on the Russian foreign ministry's website.

"At the same time we remain open to building normal mutually respectful relations with Washington based on a genuine consideration of each other's interests," Lavrov added.

This month the US imposed new sanctions on Russia over the attempted assassination of a former spy in Britain using a lethal nerve agent.

The sanctions include halting foreign aid to Russia, blocking the sale of items or services related to defence and national security, and banning any government credit support for any exports to Russia.

The sanctions, first announced August 8, are a response to the March 4 failed attempt to kill former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal using Novichok, a military-grade nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

The British government says the attack in Salisbury, England was undertaken by Russian operatives.

The State Department said it was applying the new sanctions based on a finding "that the government of the Russian Federation has used chemical weapons in violation of international law or lethal chemical weapons against its own nationals."

Russia rejects the allegations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the sanctions "counterproductive and senseless".

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