Moscow hits back at more Western sanctions over Ukraine

Russian foreign ministry claims new sanctions will cause further violence

Russian foreign ministry claims new sanctions will cause further violence

MOSCOW - Russia's foreign ministry claimed a new wave of European Union sanctions imposed on Moscow on Tuesday will encourage local radical nationalist groups to continue attacks on civilian people in Ukraine's restive southeast.

A statement from the ministry’s press office said the sanctions are "unacceptable". 

“This is an obvious evidence of full misinterpretation of domestic political situation in that country and direct invitation to local neo-Nazis to continue their outrage and lynch civilians in southeastern Ukraine,” the ministry said, according to Russia's Itar-Tass News Agency.

The ministry claimed the European bloc, under Washington's influence, assumed a hostile attitude towards Moscow instead of compelling the Kiev government to sit at the negotiating table in southeastern Ukraine.

Russia's Federation Council speaker – the upper house of parliament – Valentina Matviyenko said the sanctions must be responded to and Russia is currently evaluating the potential damage the sanctions could have on Russia's economy. 

She said the new sanctions, which include asset freezes and travel bans, against Russian and Crimean officials are "unfriendly attacks."

"It is unacceptable and we will not let any menacing discourse with Russia," she said.

The EU added 15 more people to its sanctions list including Russia's Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, presidential adviser Sergey Glazyev, presidential aide Vladislav Surkov.

The United States also imposed new sanctions on Russia, designating seven new Russian government officials and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.

The move came as a response to what the West says has been Moscow’s failure to live up to the obligations agreed to under an international agreement about ending the months-long dispute, in Geneva on April 17.

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