In this file photo, taken on July 16, 2018, US President Donald Trump (L) and Russian President Vladimir Putin are seen arriving for a meeting in Helsinki, Finland. (By AFP)
Russia says it will retaliate against the recent sanctions imposed by the United States on a Chechen law enforcement unit and Russian nationals.
The Kremlin said on Friday that reciprocal measures would be taken consistent with the national interests of Russia in response to US sanctions on the Terek Special Rapid Response Team in Russia’s southern region of Chechnya and at least three Russian nationals. It did not elaborate.
The administration of US President Donald Trump imposed the sanctions over alleged human rights abuses on Thursday.
The US Treasury Department announced that the sanctions were imposed under the so-called Magnitsky Act.
In a statement on Thursday, the Russian Embassy in Washington DC had also said that Moscow would take reciprocal measures in response to the US sanctions even as it stressed that such tit-for-tat action was not its first choice.
“When we responded reciprocally [over other matters] before, we always stressed that this is not our choice. We strive for cooperation with the United States in the long term. We are ready for this and think that this is a right choice,” the Russian embassy said.
The US has already introduced several rounds of sanctions against Moscow for what it calls Russia’s meddling in the US democratic process and its involvement in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow rejects both accusations.