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Kremlin Criticizes Sanctions After U.S. Senators Submit Legislation

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov

Russia has reiterated its opposition to the use of sanctions in international affairs, saying they are "rather destructive and harmful to both sides."

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the comment on February 9, after a group of U.S. senators introduced legislation that would make it harder for President Donald Trump to lift sanctions imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine if he seeks to do so.

The bipartisan bill was introduced on February 8 amid mounting concerns in Congress about the Trump administration's policy intentions toward Russia.

U.S.-Russia ties have sunk to lows unseen since the Cold War amid rancor over Moscow's seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, its backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine, its involvement in the Syrian conflict, and other issues.

Trump has repeatedly signaled he wants better ties with Russia and closer cooperation in combating terrorism.

Peskov also rejected suggestions that the Kremlin and the U.S. administration may try to negotiate a deal over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, saying it "can hardly be a subject for some kind of deal."

He said Russia wants the United States to pressure Ukraine to fulfill the terms of a 2015 deal aimed at ending the fighting between Ukrainian government forces and Russia-backed separatists, which has killed more than 9,750 people since April 2014.

Ukraine says Russia is not fulfilling its obligations under the agreement.

Based on reporting by TASS, Interfax, and AP