Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has denounced new sanctions the United States announced against 38 people fighting with and supporting Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.
"It in no way helps to improve the atmosphere. The sanctions were imposed for no apparent reason, again," Lavrov said after meeting with his French counterpart in Moscow on June 20.
"I can express nothing but regrets about such Russophobic mania of our American colleagues. It goes beyond all bound," he said.
The Trump administration announced the new sanctions the same day that Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko met with U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time at the White House.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the penalties were designed to "maintain pressure on Russia to work toward a diplomatic solution" in Ukraine.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in an interview with Interfax that the new sanctions will backfire.
"The sanctions that have been applied supposedly in the interest of settling the situation in southeastern Ukraine play into the hands of forces in Kyiv that are absolutely not interested in any settlement," he said.