24 Jul 2020 09:40

Chechnya's Kadyrov announces 'sanctions' against Pompeo

MOSCOW. July 24 (Interfax) - Head of Russia's internal republic of Chechnya Ramzan Kadyrov, the target of recent U.S. sanctions, has held a debate in absentia with United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"I invited dear Mr. Pompeo to visit us. But I'm saying now in front of everyone that I don't have a right to this. So, I cancel the invitation and announce his [Pompeo's] inclusion in all sanctions that we have in the republic, even including a freeze on all of his accounts. They did the same against me," Kadyrov said on Thursday evening at a conference in Chechnya attended by government members and the heads of different agencies.

Kadyrov also said that he would never go to the U.S. even if he were invited.

Kadyrov said that he is on Washington's sanctions lists, although "he hasn't been found guilty of anything by any court."

"Even if I were guilty of something, what do my daughters, who have their own families, have to do with this? Why should they answer for their father? [...] And what is my wife guilty of here? She sits at home and isn't involved in anything, isn't involved in any politics," he said.

At the same time, Kadyrov said the imposition of sanctions means that he is seen as an influential figure of an international scale.

"Rather, we should be proud. It means that we are known and are put at the international level in politics. Our name matters in global issues," he said.

Earlier, in response to being blacklisted by the U.S. Department of State, Kadyrov invited Pompeo to Chechnya.

On Monday, the Department of State imposed sanctions on Kadyrov, accusing him of human rights violations. The same measure also applies to his wife, Medni Kadyrova, and his daughters, Aishat and Khadizhat.

The Department of State circulated a statement on behalf of Secretary of State Pompeo, saying that the department "has extensive credible information that Kadyrov is responsible for numerous gross violations of human rights dating back more than a decade, including torture and extrajudicial killings."