Moscow slams new EU sanctions, reserves right for retaliatory steps

Moscow slams new EU sanctions, reserves right for retaliatory steps
The Russian foreign ministry has expressed “deep regret” over Brussels' decision to expand the anti-Russian sanction list. The ministry called it an “unfriendly and unjustified” move and said Moscow reserves the right to institute reciprocal measures.

“We are disappointed with the politicization of the issue [around the delivery of Siemens gas turbines to Crimea] that has been reduced to absurd,” the ministry said in statement.

The statement drew attention to the fact that a “loose interpretation” of the sanctions policy used by Germany, which called for new sanctions against Moscow, is “in direct contradiction to both international law and the principle of international relations.”

The ministry also stressed that the “responsibility for all possible economic costs incurred by Siemens and other German companies working in Russia falls fully on the EU as well as on the German government.”

Russia's foreign ministry also denounced the EU move as “unfriendly and unjustified” and called the reasons for the imposition of a fresh round of sanctions “absolutely unsubstantiated.” Moscow underlined that it “reserves the right for retaliatory measures.”

However, the statement said Russia is still “interested in keeping and developing economic cooperation with both Germany and the EU” as is still “committed to all obligations it took on.” Moscow aims at “overcoming all [the] negative effects of sanctions,” it added.

Earlier Friday, the European Commission added three Russian officials, including the Deputy Energy Minister Andrey Cherezov, as well as three companies to its sanctions blacklist over their alleged role in delivering Siemens gas turbines to Crimea. The Commission says this contributes to the establishment of an independent power supply for Crimea and Sevastopol which “supports their separation from Ukraine, and undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”

Last month, Siemens complained that four of its gas turbines, designed for the project in Taman, were illegally delivered to Crimea by a Russian contractor. Taman is a peninsula in the Krasnodar region of Russia not far from Crimea.

The United States and the European Union imposed sanctions against Crimea after the region of mostly ethnic Russian people voted to break away from the Ukraine and rejoin Russia in a 2014 referendum. The restrictions oblige all Western companies to leave the peninsula.