A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, said that her country would respond according to the “principle of reciprocity” to the US sanctions imposed against it over the case of poisoning and arrest of opposition Alexei Navalny.
Zakharova added in a statement Wednesday, that the US sanctions, in conjunction with European sanctions, amounted to a hostile attack against Russia, noting that the White House is trying to consolidate the image of the external enemy without paying attention to its internal problems.
She considered the imposition of sanctions on Russia for allegedly poisoning the opposition Navalny with military chemicals “a ridiculous reason,” saying that “all this is just an excuse to continue open interference in our internal affairs.”
She emphasized that Russia “will continue to defend its national interests steadily and firmly,” and added, “We urge colleagues not to play with fire.”
The United States imposed sanctions on 7 Russian government officials, on Tuesday, over the poisoning of the dissident Navalny, last August.
On February 22, the European Union’s foreign ministers decided to impose sanctions against Russia over the arrest of Navalny.
On January 17, the Russian authorities arrested Navalny, 44, upon his arrival at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, from Germany, where he spent 5 months receiving treatment.
On February 2, the Russian judiciary sentenced Navalny to 3 and a half years in prison, with the enforcement of “a fraud case previously issued against him in which a suspended sentence was imposed on its background.”
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