Zee Media Bureau
Washington: Moscow has sharply criticised the new set of sanctions imposed by the US administration of President Barack Obama against seven top Russian government officials and 17 firms linked to President Vladimir Putin in its latest action to punish Moscow for its intervention in crisis prone Ukraine.
A senior Russian diplomat Monday said that the measures were illegitimate and uncivilized and that restrictions on high-tech exports from the United States marked a return to Cold War practices.
"We decisively condemn the series of measures that has been announced in an attempt to put sanctions pressure on Moscow," deputy foreign minister Sergei Ryabkov said in comments posted on the ministry`s website.
"Unilateral extraterritorial sanctions are by nature illegitimate. They do not just fail to correspond to the norms of civilized interaction between states ... they contradict the demands of international law," Ryabkov said.
He said the US decision to impose sanctions was based on an "absolutely distorted" view of events occurring in Ukraine and "will not improve the chances for a constructive solution to the problems that have arisen."
In addition to slapping visa bans and asset freezes on seven Russian officials and imposing sanctions on 17 companies with links to President Vladimir Putin, the United states said will deny export license applications for any high-technology items that could contribute to Russian military capabilities.
"Washington is in effect reviving ... and old method of restricting normal cooperation, from Cold War times, essentially chasing itself into a dark, dusty closet of a bygone era," said Ryabkov.
His reactions came shortly after the United States imposed sanctions against seven Top Russian government officials and 17 firms linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin for the country`s role in the Ukrainian crisis.
The White House said the seven Russians, who include Igor Sechin, head of Russia`s major oil company Rosneft and a close ally of Putin, are now subject to a freeze on any assets they hold in the United States and a ban on U.S. travel.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement that Washington was taking further action against members of Putin`s inner circle "in response to Russia`s continued illegal intervention in Ukraine and provocative acts that undermine Ukraine`s democracy" and territorial integrity.
It was the third round of sanctions that the United States has imposed over Russia`s intervention in the Crimea region and troop buildup near the border with Ukraine. All of the sanctions have been aimed at specific individuals and businesses.
The other people named were Oleg Belavencev, Sergei Chemezov, Dmitry Kozak, Evgeniy Murov, Aleksei Pushkov and Vyacheslav Volodin.
President Barack Obama has made clear, however, that should Russia launch a military move deeper into Ukraine, the United States will slap sanctions on key sectors of the Russian economy, such as the financial services, energy, metals and mining, engineering and defence sectors.
The White House said the latest round of sanctions was in reaction to Russian failure to meet its commitments under a mid-April agreement to de-escalate the crisis.
"Russia`s involvement in the recent violence in eastern Ukraine is indisputable," a White House statement said.
Meanwhile Europen Union also agreed to impose sanctions on 15 other Russian and Ukrainian figures for their role in ukraine crisis, sources revealed.
All will be subjected to the same visa ban and asset freezes imposed on various others as Moscow shows no sign of reversing course in Ukraine.
While on the other hand amazingly, Both the Russian ruble and main stock exchange saw a gain of one percent of their value.
The Russian ruble rose to 35.85 from 36.05 against the dollar within minutes of the White House announcement.
The punitive measures impose travel bans and asset freezes on companies and officials and also tighten licensing requirements for certain hi-tech exports to Russia.