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Matvienko: Russia Preparing Retaliatory Sanctions Against Western States

© Sputnik / Alexey MayshevStatue of George the Victorious on Manezhnaya Square
Statue of George the Victorious on Manezhnaya Square - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.02.2022
The Russian Foreign Ministry previously pledged that Moscow's "strong response" to US sanctions will not be "necessarily symmetric, but well-calculated and painful for the American side".
Russian Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matvienko said on Friday that Moscow has prepared retaliatory sanctions against Western countries.
"As for retaliatory sanctions, they are also prepared. They will not mirror the [West's] sanctions against Russia, but we are well aware of the weak points of the West, and we have also prepared a whole package of sanctions, which will be applied against those states who have sanctioned Russia", she told reporters.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, for his part, pointed out that when considering retaliation against the Western sanctions, Russia will proceed from its own interests and will apply the principle of reciprocity.
The statement came after US President Joe Biden announced a slew of new sanctions against Russia, describing them as measures that would "impose severe costs on the Russian economy, both immediately and over time".
POTUS said that the sanctions aim to damage Russia's tech sector, including cutting off more than half its tech imports, as well as its space, aerospace, and military industries. At the same time, Biden dismissed cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international payment system, as some European allies have suggested, arguing that the sanctions would have an equal or even greater effect.
In a separate development, the UK announced a number of new sanctions, which Downing Street said it would impose on Russia over its start of a special operation in Donbass to defend the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics, DPR and LPR, respectively. The British government added 11 new sanctions listings and slapped over 100 individuals, entities, and their subsidiaries with economic restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the sanctions include restrictive measures against the Russian air carrier Aeroflot, bank VTB, and the state-run company Rostec, whose assets in the UK will be frozen. Like Biden, Johnson said that thus far London will not try to cut Russia off from the SWIFT banking system.
He spoke as European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said in a joint statement that EU leaders are planning "further restrictive measures that will impose massive and severe consequences on Russia for its action [in Ukraine], in close coordination with our transatlantic partners".
The developments come after a Russian special operation in Ukraine was ordered by President Vladimir Putin in the early hours of Thursday after the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics asked for protection against Ukraine's attacks. Putin stressed that Russia was left with no alternative after Donbass being shelled for more than a week and the 2015 Minsk peace agreements being abandoned.
The Russian president stressed that the goal of the special operation is the "demilitarisation and denazification" of Ukraine. Russia's Defence Ministry, in turn, underscored that the Russian military would not target civilians and focus on destroying Ukraine's military infrastructure.
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