MOSCOW, April 29 (RIA Novosti) – Moscow will respond to Tokyo’s sanctions against a number of Russian citizens, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday.
“The decision of Tokyo to introduce visa sanctions against a number of Russian citizens was perceived by Moscow with disappointment and, certainly will not go unanswered. This clumsy step was obviously taken under foreign influence and directly opposite statements by Tokyo on the importance of the development of relations with Russia,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.
Lukashevich underlined that imposing sanctions against Russia is counterproductive.
“The participation of Japan in the attempts of exercising pressure can no way allow the easing of the tension in Ukraine,” Lukashevich said.
The Japanese government said Tuesday it will impose additional sanctions against Russia over the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, the Kyodo news agency reported.
Tokyo said it will deny visas to 23 Russian nationals, including government officials, amid Moscow’s “lack of visible action to reduce tensions in Ukraine,” the report said.
The move came after the United States on Monday imposed sanctions against 7 Russian individuals and 17 Russian companies, accusing Moscow of failing to meet its Geneva commitments and further escalating the crisis.
Japan introduced its first package of sanctions against Russia in mid-March, including the suspension of consultations on easing visa requirements and freezing the planned launch of talks on signing agreements on investment and space cooperation.
On Tuesday, the European Union imposed sanctions on 15 additional Russian and Ukrainian officials. Most of those listed in the EU sanctions expand on the United States’ list.
Moscow has repeatedly warned that talking in the language of sanctions is “inappropriate and counterproductive” and warned its Western partners about the “boomerang effect” that sanctions would have.