Moscow Retaliates Against New US Sanctions
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
Russia’s move was modest, having no effect on bilateral relations.
Washington was ordered to reduce embassy and consular staff in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok to 455 people by September 1 – equaling the number of Russian diplomats and staff in America.
Its southern Moscow warehouses and Serebryany Bor property were frozen, access by US personnel suspended as of August 1.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin approved the moves. A Russian Foreign Ministry statement said “(i)n the case of new unilateral actions of the US authorities to reduce the number of our diplomats in the US, it will be followed by a tit-for-tat response.”
“We reserve the right on other mutual measures, which can affect US interests.”
“The United States insistently implements rough anti-Russian sanctions one after another under the absolutely far-fetched pretext of Russian meddling in their internal affairs,” flagrantly breaching international law.
“The US makes decisions on illegal sanctions against the Russian Federation, seizes Russian diplomatic property, which is formalized in legally binding bilateral documents, Russian diplomats are expelled from the country.”
“This clearly violates the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and generally accepted diplomatic practice.”
Despite outrageous US actions against Russia, the Kremlin “acted responsibly, showing restraint and has not responded to obvious provocations.”
“However, recent events indicate that Russophobia and the policy aimed at open confrontation with our country have reigned supreme in some circles in the US.”
Washington unacceptably acts aggressively toward Russia. “(U)nder the guise of its ‘exceptionalism,’ (it) arrogantly ignores other countries’ stances and interests.”
We’ve “been doing (our) utmost to normalize bilateral relations, develop ties and cooperation with the US on the most important issues on the international agenda, including, above all, fighting terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking, illegal migration, cyber crime and so on.”
“Moscow continues to proceed from the assumption that global problems could be effectively solved through joint efforts only. We are confident that this approach is shared by most people on the planet.”
US ambassador to Russia John Teft expressed strong disappointment over the Kremlim’s order to reduce Trump administration personnel in the country, along with freezing American property.
Perhaps he should reflect on how outrageously his country treats others – no matter which wing of its one-party state is in charge.
A Final Comment
Russian academic Nikolai Platoshkin suggested a harsher Kremlin response to new US sanctions if they’re enacted.
Congress excluded bilateral cooperation on space-related activities. The Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act does not apply to Russian cooperation with NASA.
Platoshkin suggested “cut(ting) them off from space. May they take a horse,” he said.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov explained nothing is being ruled out “to bring overweening Russophobes to their senses…”
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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