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New U.S. Sanctions on Eight Russian Companies

March 28, 2017 (EIRNS)—New sanctions were announced last week against eight Russian companies charged with violating the U.S. "Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act" (INKSNA). The sanctions had been set into motion under Obama, as Russian media noted, but their implementation by the Trump administration is not welcomed.

"We are open to working with the administration of President Donald Trump to improve the situation in relations. However, this can only be achieved if Washington really takes into account our national interests and treats Russia as an equal partner,"

Lavrov told Russia’s Argumenty i Fakty weekly in response to the sanctions, Sputnik reported.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova issued a statement on March 26 that Russia finds the new U.S. sanctions

"baffling and disappointing.... This decision conflicts with statements made in Washington on the priority of combating terrorism, including in Syria. Moreover, it fully contradicts them and will hinder the development of multilateral cooperation towards defeating ISIS and other terrorist groups, which threaten all countries, including the United States. The U.S. presidential administration has again taken its cue from those whose perennial goal is to undermine Russian-American cooperation and who see enemies where there are none. This policy will certainly not benefit U.S. security interests."

An unnamed State Dept. official told Sputnik on March 25, that the determination to impose the sanctions, which are separate from the 2014 sanctions over Crimea, was taken on Jan. 17, and then reviewed by the new administration, prior to transmission to Congress on March 21.

White House Press Spokesman Sean Spicer’s read-out at Mondya’s White House briefing, of the statement issued by the State Department, "strongly condemn[ing]" the arrest of peaceful protestors in Russia on Sunday, will not help. The statement called the arrests "an affront to essential democratic values," and asserted that the U.S. will monitor the situation. "The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open marketplace of ideas," etc.