World Bulletin/News Desk
A senior Russian diplomat sharply criticised a new round of U.S. sanctions on Monday, saying the measures were illegitimate and uncivilised and that restrictions on high-tech exports from the United States marked a return to Cold War practices.
"We decisively condemn the series of measures that has been announced in an attempt to put sanctions pressure on Moscow," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in comments posted on the ministry's website.
"Unilateral extraterritorial sanctions are by nature illegitimate. They do not just fail to correspond to the norms of civilised interaction between states ... they contradict the demands of international law," Ryabkov said.
He said the U.S. decision to impose sanctions was based on an "absolutely distorted" view of events occurring in Ukraine and "will not improve the chances for a constructive solution to the problems that have arisen."
In addition to slapping visa bans and asset freezes on seven Russian officials and imposing sanctions on 17 companies with links to President Vladimir Putin, the United states said will deny export license applications for any high-technology items that could contribute to Russian military capabilities.
"Washington is in effect reviving ... and old method of restricting normal cooperation, from Cold War times, essentially chasing itself into a dark, dusty closet of a bygone era," said Ryabkov.