UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Russia said on Monday it was “deeply surprised” by new US sanctions targeting several entities and citizens of Russia for trying to influence the 2018 legislative and local elections in the United States.
The sanctions, aimed among others at the Kremlin-affiliated businessman Yevgeny Prigogin, “will not remain unanswered,” the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.
“We urge American politicians to stop the stupid sanctions game, with zero results, and a return to common sense.”
The new sanctions are a reflection of the “internal political crisis in the United States, in which Russian issues are deliberately used by part of the political class in Washington as a tool to achieve their opportunistic goals,” the ministry said in a statement.
The sanctions are the first in a decree issued in September 2018 by President Donald Trump that allows for sanctions if any attempt is made to influence the electoral process.
The sanctions were disclosed on Monday after the Washington Post published an article confirming that Trump said during his meeting in 2017 with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House, that Russia’s interference in the presidential elections in 2016 at all does not concern him at all.
The indictment was made against Russia’s Prigogine as part of a broad investigation by Attorney General Robert Muller into possible interference in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump reach the White House.
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