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Kremlin Hits Out At Sanctions, Deplores 'Degradation' Of U.S.-Russia Relations

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the deterioration was not in the interests of either country.

A Kremlin spokesman says a recent U.S. decision to impose personal sanctions on three Russians and a U.S. Senate proposal to expand sanctions against Russia are "further steps in the artificially created degradation of our relations."

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told journalists in Moscow on January 10 that there was an "unprecedented degradation" of U.S.-Russia ties during U.S. President Barack Obama's second term.

He said the deterioration was not in the interests of either country.

The U.S. Treasury on January 9 added top Russian law enforcement official Aleksandr Bastrykin and the two suspects in the 2006 radiation poisoning death in Britain of Putin critic Aleksandr Litvinenko to the so-called Magnitsky list of officials under U.S. travel bans and asset freezes for alleged involvement in human rights abuses.

The same day, U.S. Senators John McCain and Ben Cardin announced that they planned to introduce legislation to impose "comprehensive" sanctions on Russia because of Moscow's alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election in November.

Peskov said he could not say whether there would be a Russian response to the expansion of the Magnitsky list, which now comprises 44 names.

Based on reporting by Reuters, Interfax, and TASS