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Russia slams 'hypocrisy' of new Western sanctions

AFP  |  Moscow 

on Saturday slammed the "hypocrisy" of new Western sanctions against its officials over their role in a naval confrontation with last year, and vowed to respond to the "unfriendly" move.

The United States, and the Friday slapped new sanctions on more than a dozen Russian officials and businesses in response to Moscow's "continued aggression in "

"The pretext for including our countrymen in the illegitimate sanctions list of the EU astounds with hypocrisy and cynicism," the Russian foreign ministry said.

In a previous statement late on Friday, it said "will not leave the unfriendly act of the EU without a response" and accused of siding with on the eve of its due on March 31.

"It cannot be ignored that the decision came not long before the in Ukraine," it said.

It also accused and of "Russophobia" and said the sanctions will "not lead to the results the and want".

A Treasury statement Friday said six Russian officials, six defence firms and two energy and construction firms had been targeted, either over the seizure of Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Straight last November, or for their activities in Russian-annexed Crimea or separatist eastern

The sanctions freeze all property and interests in property belonging to the designated individuals and entities, and prohibit US persons from transacting with them.

Four of the individuals are border or coast officials, singled out for their role in a November 25, 2018 naval confrontation, in which Russian ships fired on and seized three Ukrainian vessels in the narrow the two countries share.

The four were targeted jointly with the EU and according to the State Department.

Twenty-four Ukrainian crew members were detained in the naval incident.

In the statement on Saturday, said its border guards were "bravely fulfilling their duty to defend the state borders of our country" and that the confrontation was the result of a "provocation" by the Ukrainian side.

It said was acting "within the norms of international law" in arresting the Ukrainians.

Russia has said the sailors will go on trial for violating its maritime borders.

They face up to six years in prison for illegally crossing Russian borders, lawyers have said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 17:25 IST