World Bulletin/News Desk
Russia has retaliated against expanded sanctions imposed by Western governments over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, state-run news agencies cited the Foreign Ministry as saying on Friday.
The United States and European Union have imposed two rounds of visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials, lawmakers and other allies of President Vladimir Putin to punish Moscow for what Western states say is the illegal seizure of Crimea.
"Naturally, such actions cannot be left without a reaction," RIA quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as saying. "The Russian side has taken measures in response, which in many ways mirror (the Western sanctions)."
He did not give details and no list of Western officials affected by the new sanctions was immediately available.
Crimeans voted to secede from Ukraine and join Russia in a March 16 referendum dismissed as a sham by Western governments that say it violated Ukraine's constitution and was held only after Russian forces seized control of the Black Sea peninsula.
The United States and EU, worried that Putin could seek to take control of parts of eastern and southern Ukraine, have warned they could impose broader sanctions affecting entire sectors of Russia's economy if he escalates the crisis.Last Mod: 28 Mart 2014, 17:28