US seeks to contain both Russia and Iran through sanctions, State Duma speaker says

TASS– The United States is trying to contain Russia’s development, the way it was with Iran when similar decisions were made on it by Washington, Speaker of Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) Vyacheslav Volodin told Iran’s television.

The speaker arrived in Tehran for an official visit on Monday, during which he will meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Speaker of Iran’s Majlis (parliament) Ali Larijani and open a plenary meeting of the Russian-Iranian Business Forum.

“Sanctions and sanctions lists are an attempt to contain Russia’s development. This is similar to an attempt to contain Iran’s development when such decisions were made against Iran,” Volodin said when asked about further development of Russian-US relations in light of Washington’s recent unfriendly moves against Moscow. “Therefore, it is necessary to proceed from the premise that these decisions cannot be called friendly,” he stated.

Moscow believes “it is necessary to build bilateral relations, above all, on the principles of friendship, mutual respect, the absence of double standards and the principles of non-interference in the affairs of sovereign states,” the State Duma speaker went on to say. “The US does not adhere to such principles in these matters, and the sanctions policy can hardly contribute to the development of relations.”

“For its part, Russia has emphasized the need to build a dialogue, friendly relations. That’s the bottom line of our foreign policy with regard to the US and other countries,” Volodin concluded.

New anti-Russian sanctions

On April 6, Washington unveiled sanctions against Russia’s seven biggest entrepreneurs, 17 public officers, 12 private companies and two government entities. According to the US Department of Treasury, the assets of all 24 blacklisted citizens and 14 organizations, if they are in the US jurisdiction, are to be frozen. From now on, Americans are prohibited to maintain business contacts with those added to the sanctions list.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow will provide a tough response to the fresh US sanctions.