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US blacklist another move to degrade ties: Kremlin

| | Moscow

The Kremlin deplored on Tuesday the United States’ blacklisting of a high-ranking official and the prime suspects in the 2006 murder of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko as a move that further damages bilateral ties.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Washington’s decision to blacklist Investigative Committee chief Alexander Bastrykin and Litvinenko’s alleged assassins, lawmaker Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun, represented “further steps in the artificially created degradation of our relations”. “We deeply regret the fact that a lingering period of unprecedented degradation in our bilateral ties occurred during Obama’s second presidential term,” Peskov said. “We are convinced that this does not coincide with our interests or that of Washington.”

The US Treasury on Monday added Bastrykin, Lugovoi and Kovtun to the Magnitsky Act sanctions list in a spike of diplomatic tensions between Moscow and Washington.

State Department spokesman John Kirby said Monday the additions to the sanctions list followed “extensive research” and targeted individuals with “roles in the repressive machinery of Russia’s law enforcement systems, as well as individuals involved in notorious human rights violations.”  

 
 
 

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