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Iran Press TV

Russia to slap counter-sanctions on UK: Kremlin

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 07 July 2020 2:10 PM

Russia says it will introduce sanctions against the United Kingdom in retaliation for British bans targeting more than two dozen Russian officials.

"We can only regret such unfriendly measures," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in a press conference on Tuesday, stressing that, "obviously, the principle of reciprocity will be applied."

His remarks came after the British government introduced a new UK-only sanctions list targeting key individuals and institutions from four countries, including 25 Russian nationals, for their alleged involvement in the death of lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky, a tax consultant for British financier William Browder, died in Moscow's Butyrka prison in November 2009, less than a year after he was detained on tax evasion charges. Magnitsky had exposed an alleged tax fraud scheme, and his death became a cause célèbre for Western governments.

The new British sanctions will target, among others, Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Investigative Committee.

On Monday, the Russian Embassy in London also regretted the sanctions. It said Moscow reserved the right to retaliate against the new sanctions.

The new sanctions regime was announced on Monday.

In 2018, the alleged poisoning in the UK of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter triggered a major dispute between Moscow and London.

The British government claimed that Russian officials from the GRU military intelligence agency used a powerful nerve agent to kill the ex-spy for his work with British and other Western intelligence services.

The victims were purportedly exposed to Novichok, a highly lethal chemical weapon developed under a secret Soviet program.

Russia vehemently rejected any involvement, saying the substance could have originated from the countries studying Novichok, including the UK itself, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Sweden.

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