The Kremlin considers the cause for sanctions against Russian high-ranking officials over the incident with blogger Alexey Navalny “more than dubious,” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with the RT TV channel published on Friday, TASS reported.
“The cause for these sanctions was more than dubious, the sanctions were unprecedented due to the questionable reason of including in them top representatives of the presidential administration,” he emphasized.
Speaking of Russia’s reciprocal sanctions against France and Germany, the spokesman stressed that “one couldn’t have expected anything different.” “The reciprocity principle works here rather clearly, hardly anyone could have expected that Russia would leave this without a reaction,” he explained.
In response to a question which officials from Germany and France banned from entering Russia would correspond to the level of First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia Sergei Kiriyenko blacklisted by the West, the Kremlin representative noted “One can hardly find Kiriyenko’s equal but in any case, at least nominally, of course, it is easy to find a corresponding title.”
Among those added to the list were Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Administration of Russia Sergei Kiriyenko, Chief of the Presidential Domestic Policy Directorate in the Presidential Executive Office Andrei Yarin, Deputy Defense Ministers Pavel Popov and Alexei Krivoruchko as well as Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian president in the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyailo.
On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reported that Russia imposed retaliatory sanctions against leading officials in the offices of German and French leaders.