Russia reserves right to retaliate against new EU sanctions: foreign ministry

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-05 05:04:00|Editor: Liu

Combination of file photos show Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) at a press conference in Punkaharju, Finland, on July 27, 2017 and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker at a press conference at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, on April 29, 2017. (Xinhua)

MOSCOW, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU)'s decision to expand the sanction list against Russia over the Siemens turbine spat is "deeply regrettable", and Moscow reserves the right to retaliate, Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

"We consider this step, undertaken on the initiative of Berlin, as unfriendly and unjustified," the ministry said in a statement, adding that the new sanction expansion contradicts both international laws and principles of international relations in general.

"Responsibility for this decision, including the possible economic costs of Siemens and other German companies, as well as European companies operating in Russia, lies entirely with the EU and the German government," it said.

Earlier on the day, the EU announced sanctions against three Russian nationals and three companies, who will face asset freeze and travel ban in the EU for their responsibility in the allegedly illegal delivery of four gas turbines to Crimea.

The turbines were originally sold by German company Siemens for use in other parts of Russia and were then transferred to Crimea, according to the company.

Calling the incident an ordinary commercial dispute of economic entities subject to "absurd politicization", the ministry said Moscow strongly rejects attempts to use it as an example of the alleged dishonesty of Russian companies.

"The reasons for introducing a new portion of restrictive measures against our country are absolutely far-fetched and we reserve the right to retaliate," the ministry said.

The EU imposed a set of sanctions against Russia in 2014 over its annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, which includes a ban of supplying of key equipment for infrastructure projects in important sectors in the two places.

A total of 153 persons and 40 entities are now on the EU sanction list in the wake of its latest decision.