Russia will respond in kind to US sanctions - deputy foreign minister

by Reuters
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 19:27 GMT

(Adds details, quotes)

MOSCOW, March 19 (Reuters) - Moscow will respond in kind to U.S. sanctions imposed on Russian officials over the Crimea dispute and is considering other steps if Washington escalates the confrontation, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Wednesday.

On Monday, the United States and the EU announced sanctions on a handful of officials from Russia and Ukraine accused of involvement in Moscow's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region, most of whose 2 million residents are ethnic Russians.

Washington has threatened further sanctions.

"We are looking at a broad range of responsive measures. They can be identical measures regarding certain lists of American officials - not necessarily representatives of the administration ... who have influenced American policies," Ryabkov was quoted as saying by Interfax.

"There is also the possibility of passing asymmetrical measures, that means steps which, let's say ... won't go unnoticed in Washington," he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called the sanctions "unacceptable". But some of the Russians included on the list of individuals have largely scoffed at the measures which would freeze their assets in the United States. (Reporting by Thomas Grove; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

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