Kremlin Rejects US Claims of Skripal Case Links, Calls Sanctions 'Unacceptable'
12:48 09.08.2018(updated 17:26 09.08.2018)
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has addressed the most recent round of sanctions introduced by the US against Moscow.
"We consider the link between the sanctions introduced by the US and the Skripal case to be unacceptable," Peskov told journalists, adding that Moscow one more time denied "any accusations of Russia's engagement in the Salisbury incident."
According to the official, the possibility of Russia having used chemical weapons was "out of the question." Peskov harshly criticized London's approach, repeating that the UK refuses to present any evidence or at least share any information on the matter.
"Russia did not and does not have anything to do with the use of chemical weapons, it is out of the question. Moreover, we cannot even say what was used in the United Kingdom and how, because we do not have any information, we do not have a reply from the UK to our proposal of a joint investigation into this incident, which causes serious concern," the spokesman stressed.
Earlier, the US Department of State announced new sanctions on Russia over the accusations of chemical weapons having been used by Moscow against former Russian intelligence officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the United Kingdom in March, urging Moscow to allow international on-site inspections. However, no evidence to substantiate the case has been presented by the US or the UK.
Peskov slammed the US lawmakers who proposed recognizing Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism, explaining that it was "beyond common sense."
"Many hotheads work in the legislative bodies of different countries. And certainly these heads sometimes allow very emotional statements beyond common sense. We each time closely monitor them and try to understand how much this has to do with a country's official position," Peskov told reporters when asked about the Kremlin's attitude toward such a proposal.
He also noted that it was too early to talk about a possible response by Moscow until more detailed statements on the restrictions, when Moscow would understand what they involve "specifically and officially." Peskov, when asked about the resilience of the country's financial system, told journalists it was well-prepared for the imposition of Washington's sanctions against Russia.
"Eventual suggestions are absolutely irrelevant. The financial system is fairly stable. This is well-known. Secondly, it has proved its stability in quite difficult times. Thirdly, we must and we do keep our financial system in good condition given the continuing unpredictability of our overseas partners."
Later, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated that it would lay out counter-measures in order to address the new sanctions. According to the ministry, Washington's actions put pressure on the investigators of the Skripal poisoning case.
"Yesterday the US Department of State announced a new portion of restrictions, this time it chose the story of Skripals' poisoning as a far-fetched pretext," Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova added.
According to media reports, the first package of these sanctions implies a complete ban on the export of electronic devices and dual-use components to Russia, while the second package may include a decrease in the level of diplomatic relations, a ban on flights by Russia's Aeroflot carrier to the US and almost complete suspension of US exports.
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