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Matviyenko: US sanctions against Russian government officials “unprecedented”

March 17, 21:36 UTC+4 MOSCOW
The U.S. government on Monday, March 17, released a list of Russian and Ukrainian government officials subject to sanctions
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© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, March 17. /ITAR-TASS/. Valentina Matviyenko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, upper house of Russian parliament, said the U.S. sanctions against Russian government officials were an “unprecedented” move that had never been made even during the Cold War.

The U.S. government on Monday, March 17, released a list of Russian and Ukrainian government officials subject to sanctions.

The list includes Vladislav Surkov (sanctioned for his status as a Presidential Aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin);

Sergei Glazyev (sanctioned for his status as a Presidential Adviser to President Putin);

Leonid Slutsky (sanctioned for his status as a State Duma deputy, where he is Chairman of the Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration, and Relations with Compatriots);

Andrei Klishas (sanctioned for his status as a Member of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and as Chairman of the Federation Council Committee of Constitutional Law, Judicial, and Legal Affairs, and the Development of Civil Society);

Valentina Matviyenko (sanctioned for her status as Head of the Federation Council);

Dmitry Rogozin (sanctioned for his status as the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation);

Yelena Mizulina (sanctioned for her status as a State Duma Deputy);

Sergei Aksyonov (designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes);

Vladimir Konstantinov (designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. Konstantinov is the speaker of the Crimean parliament, which on March 11, 2014, declared independence from Ukraine);

Viktor Medvedchuk (leader of Ukrainian Choice, is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. He is also being designated because he has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support to Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and because he is a leader of an entity that has, or whose members have, engaged in actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine and actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine);

Viktor Yanukovich (Ukrainian President is being designated for threatening the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, and for undermining Ukraine’s democratic institutions and processes. After abandoning Kiev and ultimately fleeing to Russia), the White House said.

“The sanctions against the top Russian officials who perform their public functions are an unprecedented decision. Nothing like this happened even during the Cold War,” Matviyenko said, adding that she was not going to make any excuses.

“This is political blackmailing, if we are to call things by their proper names. They in the United States know that I have no accounts, assets or property abroad. And I have never had business interests. This is why I regard this statement with respect to me as an attempt to put pressure on my position of principle and force me to change it,” she said.

Matviyenko reminded the “overseas politicians” that she was “the chair of the upper house of Russian parliament, not American Senate.”

“I have always defended and will defend the national interests of Russia, not the geopolitical interests of the West. No one and no threats will ever frighten us,” she stressed. “This is counterproductive. The only way lies through dialogue and talks, taking into account not only one’s own interests but also the interests of the people of Ukraine and Russia.

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