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Russia Cancels High Level Meeting Over New Sanctions From Washington

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Russia canceled a high level diplomatic meeting in St. Petersburg over additional sanctions imposed on 38 companies and individuals by the Trump administration yesterday due to the continuing Russian involvement in the conflict in East Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov was supposed to meet with Under Secretary of State Tom Shannon to attempt to find ways to ‘remove irritants’ in the U.S.-Russian relationship.

“This measure will not remain without a reaction — there will be measures in response on our behalf,” Ryabkov warned, reported AFP.

“We regret that once again the American authorities have allowed themselves to be guided by the frenzied Russophobes in Congress, who will stop at nothing to cause us trouble, and especially to reduce to zero any chance of an improvement in Russian-American ties,” he alleged.

The U.S. State Department said the sanctions imposed were simply updates to previous measures that Russia had found ways to work around and primarily on separatists and Russians aiding the rebels in Donbass.

“”We regret that Russia has decided to turn away from an opportunity to discuss bilateral obstacles that hinder US-Russia relations…We have regularly updated these sanctions twice a year since they were first imposed,” State Department spokesman Heather Nauert explained. “Let’s remember that these sanctions didn’t just come out of nowhere.

“Our targeted sanctions were imposed in response to Russia’s ongoing violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbor, Ukraine,” she said.

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