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Russia Announces Sanctions Against US Officials

Published: March 21, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • Russia's Foreign Ministry building in central Moscow.
    Photo: A. Makhonin / Vedomosti

The Russian Foreign Ministry on Thursday imposed sanctions against nine senior US officials in retaliation to US visa bans and asset freezes.

The White House authorized sanctions on Monday against Russian officials who are most directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine. The US sanctions targeted seven top Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin, including presidential aide Vladislav Surkov, the speaker of the upper house of parliament, Valentina Matviyenko, and Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

The list was extended on Thursday and now includes presidential aide Andrei Fursenko, Presidential Executive Office Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov, head of Russias military intelligence service GRU Igor Sergun, head of Russias railway monopoly RZD Vladimir Yakunin and a number of senior lawmakers.

We have repeatedly warned that the use of sanctions is double-edged and has boomerang effect, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The list of US officials barred from Russia comprises deputy national security advisers Ben Rhodes and Caroline Atkinson, senators John McCain, Harry Reid, Robert Menendez, Daniel Coats and Mary Landrieu, House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and Dan Pfeiffer, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama.

Washington refuses to admit the obvious fact that the people of Crimea have voted for reunification with Russia, which respects and accepts their choice, the ministry said adding that the referendum was democratic and complied with the international law and UN Charter.

Crimea, previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, refused to recognize the legitimacy of the government in Kiev that came to power amid often violent protests last month and sought reunification with Russia after 60 years as part of Ukraine.

Russia has in the past responded to such targeted sanctions in a proportional manner. A 2012 US blacklist of Russian officials blamed for the death of whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 spurred the country last year to retaliate with a similar list of US officials banned from entering the country.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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