Russia to Expand its Own “Blacklist” in Response to New U.S. Sanctions

Russia will expand its own “blacklist” of Americans in response to new U.S. sanctions announced by the Trump administration, a senior Russian diplomat has said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Friday that Russia is preparing sanctions against “a new group of American actors” and possible “additional” measures.

Russia will use “the principle of parity” as it responds, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday, RFE/RL reported, citing state news agency RIA Novosti. Additional measures are not ruled out, he said, adding that the retaliatory measures are not the preference of Moscow.

The Trump administration confirmed Thursday it was imposing new sanctions on Russia, including individuals indicted last month by special counsel Robert Mueller, in a sweeping new effort to punish Moscow for its attempts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

Ryabkov appeared to slightly soften the blow by adding that Russia did not want to close the window of dialogue with the U.S. or the possibility of stabilizing bilateral relations.

“It is also worth thinking about that, destroying Russian-American relations,” said Ryabkov. “These politicians play with fire, because they simultaneously undermine global stability.”

In enacting the sanctions, the Trump administration is finally meeting a congressional mandate to impose measures punishing Moscow for its cyber intrusion. The delay had led to questions over U.S. President Donald Trump’s willingness to punish Moscow.

In total, the administration applied new sanctions on five entities and 19 individuals on Thursday, including the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that produced divisive political posts on American social media platforms during the 2016 presidential election.