Russia rejects new US sanctions, terms to lift them

The US State Department’s new sanctions over the unproved spy poisoning case of Skripals and the terms set by it for lifting the sanctions are equally unacceptable, Russian officials said on Thursday.

Russia has nothing to do with the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, England, on March 4. London keeps blaming Moscow without providing any tangible evidence or sharing valuable information on the case for a joint or separate investigation, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Demanding answers from Russia on who poisoned the Skripals and how is ridiculous because it has no information on them, he said.

Peskov said it is too early to talk about Russia’s retaliatory measures until it goes through the details of the new US sanctions to know what they imply.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said Russia will consider tit-for-tat action to the  new US sanctions, adding that the measures will depend on the US restrictions against Russia.

Zakharova described the new story invented by the US to impose fresh sanctions as far-fetched.

She said the terms set by the US for lifting the sanctions are unacceptable.

The diplomat said it is unfortunate that the US, instead of making efforts to improve ties with Russia as envisaged in the Trump-Putin Helsinki summit last month, has now complicated the situation with the new sanctions.

The strategy of the US State Department appears to be to undermine the gains of the Helsinki summit.