Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova’s answer to a media question about the introduction of new US anti-Russia restrictions

Monday, 27 August 2018 11:50

Question: What can you say about the introduction of new restrictions with regard to Russia by Washington?

Maria Zakharova: On August 9, we provided a detailed comment on the US administration’s decision to extend the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 to this country. Because of this, today’s official statement on this matter published in Washington is no news for anyone.

Using an absolutely farfetched reference to the so-called Skripal case, whose investigation in the UK is far from over, they are accusing us of being implicated in the Salisbury tragedy, thus calling into question Russia’s elimination of its chemical weapons arsenal. Per long-standing tradition, they offer no evidence. However, Moscow is urged to “confess” and provide unrestricted access to its chemical facilities.

All the accusations so far are ephemeral, but the restrictions imposed today are quite real, if largely echoing those already in effect. These include termination of technical aid programmes, a ban on selling military goods to Russia, withdrawal of funding for Russian military programmes, suspension of public loans and financial aid, and suspension of Department of Trade licenses to export double-purpose goods and technologies to Russian companies with public participation or funding. But the built-in exemptions from restrictions (supplies under space programmes or civilian flight safety cooperation) only confirm the extent of the hypocrisy and bias of the US authorities.

We regard Washington’s decision as nothing more than part of a deliberate policy to erode the international structure in the arms control and non-proliferation sphere, including the prohibition of chemical weapons. Unlike the United States, Russia remains committed to its obligations: we have eliminated the whole of our military chemical potential, something that has been duly verified, including by US experts.

In taking these steps, Washington is only complicating chances for a dialogue on existing multilateral and bilateral issues.

It is sad that the US political elite are incapable of understanding one simple thing: sanctions cannot dissuade Russia from its chosen path of defending its national interests as firmly as possible. Naturally, Washington’s steps are not facilitating a civilised and respectful bilateral dialogue and interaction befitting our two powers.

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