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Iran Press TV

Russia 'reserves right to retaliate' UK sanctions

Iran Press TV

Tuesday, 07 July 2020 6:25 AM

Russia says it reserves the right to retaliate against the United Kingdom for imposing sanctions on 25 Russian officials over alleged human rights violations.

In a statement issued on Monday, the Russian Embassy in London said, "The Russian side reserves the right to take retaliatory measures in connection with Britain's hostile decision."

The 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 allegedly involved in the death of lawyer and auditor Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky died while he was in prison in 2009. He had exposed an alleged tax fraud scheme.

The Russian Embassy said Moscow was particularly outraged by the sanctioning of judges, as well as Alexander Bastrykin, the head of Russia's Investigative Committee and General Prosecutor's Office.

"In Russia, investigators, prosecutors and judges carry out their responsibilities independently of executive authorities and are guided by law alone," it said.

The new sanctions regime – the first of its kind in the UK – was announced to British MPs at the House of Commons by Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab on Monday.

Also included in the British sanctions list are 20 Saudi nationals for their alleged involvement in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as two high-ranking Myanmarese generals for their alleged implication in violence against the Muslim Rohingya minority.

In 2018, the death in the UK of a former Russian spy triggered a major dispute between London and Moscow.

The British government accused Moscow of ordering the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter. The victims were exposed to Novichok, a highly lethal chemical weapon purportedly 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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