U.S. uses Skripals case to continue demonizing Russia - Foreign Ministry
MOSCOW. Aug 9 (Interfax) - The United States continues demonizing Russia, using this time round the so-called Skripals case with a lack of evidence, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said commenting on the new sanctions against Russia.
"The U.S. administration has thrust all forces on complicating the situation further still. The calculation of those behind the latest episode in the so-called Skripals case is simply obvious: to attempt, with all truths and untruths, to keep afloat this profitable (for them) anti-Russian subject as a tool of continuing to demonize Russia," Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.
The whole Skripals story was an "invented pretext" for "a new portions of restrictions," she said.
"Our country's leadership is directly accused of using the war-grade nerve agent Novichok, although the British side still has not provided any evidence of Russian involvement in what happened in Salisbury; moreover, it is refusing to cooperate with Russia and refusing relevant investigation," Zakharova said.
Even so, the U.S. administration "under the guise of some allied solidarity" thought it necessary to introduce new sanctions, she said.
On the announced list effective from August 22 are: the ban on providing Russia with any foreign assistance except humanitarian; the sale of miltiry and dual-purpose goods; non granting state loans and other financial aid, the spokesperson said.
"As a precondition for lifting the sanctions, [the U.S.] set requirements it knows are unacceptable for us," Zakharova said.
This is just the first stage of Salisbury-related sanctions; Russia is being threatened with more pressure, she said.
"Thus, the United States of America is deliberately going down the path of further escalation [in the relations] practically brought to naught thanks to their efforts anyway," Zakharova said.
"Instead of getting serious about finding ways to improve relations, as was discussed during the recent [U.S.-Russian] summit in Helsinki, the U.S. administration threw itself into complicating the situation further still," Zakharova said.
The latest sanctions, in relation to the Skripals, are "an attempt to portray our state as ignoring its international obligations," in this instance, under the chemical weapons convention (CWC) she said.
"Though everyone is perfectly aware that back last year Russia fully disposed of its stockpiles of chemical weapons strictly in accordance with the CWC obligations. Unlike those same Americans, who never destroyed their own chemical arsenal and keep pushing deadlines under the relevant program," Zakharova said.
"Against this backdrop, these accusations are particularly baseless and simply cynical," she said.