MOSCOW: The Kremlin said Wednesday that new Western sanctions against Russia were “absolutely unacceptable” and dismissed claims that Moscow was behind the poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny.
The European Union and the United States introduced fresh penalties against senior Russian officials Tuesday over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Navalny, who was jailed last month after recovering in Germany from exposure to the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.
“We believe such measures are absolutely unacceptable because they significantly damage already bad relations” with Washington and Brussels, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
He told journalists that the new sanctions amounted to “nothing other than interference in the domestic affairs” of Russia.
The new sanctions target several individuals within Russia’s security sector, including Federal Security Service (FSB) head Alexander Bortnikov.
“Our American colleagues are claiming with a high degree of certainty that a poisoning allegedly took place and that the FSB was behind the poisoning. This is outrageous,” Peskov said.
“We can only express regret that in this case our opponents are resorting to methods that have a destructive effect on bilateral ties,” he added.
Peskov said that Russia will also introduce sanctions in response, without giving details.