Russia's Foreign Ministry accuses U.S. Congress in preparing economic blockade of Russia
Washington must make its own decision on the prospects for the lifting of sanctions against Russia, as Moscow did not ask and does not intend to ask for that, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov, the BBC Russian Service reported.
"If we talk about sanctions, due to which the U.S. turnover dipped by almost a third – from $29 billion in 2014 to less than $20 billion in 2016, we've never asked to lift them and we are not going to do that. In contacts with the Americans, I once again quite responsibly declare: we have not discussed and are not discussing the criteria for the sanctions lift," Ryabkov said at a round-table discussion in Russia's State Duma dedicated to the Russian-U.S. relations.
Read alsoEU to prolong sanctions against Yanukovych, his associates next week – journalistHe added that "Russia's detractors in the U.S. Congress are trying to crush any positive developments."
"In January this year, they introduced a bill to codify the sanctions imposed by Obama's orders so that Trump could not cancel them. Furthermore, it is proposed to extend and tighten the restrictions, and even to try blackmailing third countries to follow suit. That is, to organize some sort of an economic blockade of Russia," Ryabkov said.
As UNIAN reported earlier, the new administration of the United States of America agrees that the cancellation or easing of sanctions against Russia would be possible only if progress is made in the implementation of Minsk agreements.
U.S. President Barack Obama on January 13 extended by one year all U.S. sanctions on Russia over its annexation of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine.