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Iran Press TV

Russian UK envoy: Moscow to penalize those imposing sanctions on Russians

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 19 July 2020 5:38 PM

The Russian ambassador to the United Kingdom says Moscow will find ways to punish those imposing sanctions against its nationals as part of "the Magnitsky case."

The British government on July 6 announced 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 Russian 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 uncovered what he claimed to be a massive tax fraud which involved Russian officials, 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.

"Believe me as for Magnitsky we will find the way to punish those who are making this type of sanctions because sanctions are illegal," said Andrei Kelin in an interview with the BBC on Sunday.

"There is only one body that can impose sanctions and this is the United Nations," the Russian envoy to London further said.

On July 7, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov stressed that Moscow would slap counter-sanctions against the UK in retaliation for British bans targeting more than two dozen Russian officials.

Peskov's comments came a day after the Russian Embassy in London regretted the sanctions, saying that Moscow reserved the right to retaliate against the new sanctions.

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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