Observance of sanctions, an offence

MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev backs the idea of making it a criminal offence for Russians to ob­serve sanctions imposed by the United States. Mr Medvedev said this in an interview broadcast on Saturday on state TV channel Rossiya 1.

Washington imposed sweeping sanctions on some of Russia’s biggest companies and business­men on April 6, strik­ing at allies of President Vladimir Putin to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and other so-called malign activities.

Asked about a proposal drafted by Russia’s lower house of parliament to criminalise observance of US sanctions, Mr Medve­dev said the restrictions were aimed at destroying Russia’s socio-political system and harming the economy and individuals.

“If this is so, then the implementation of these sanctions by citizens of our country should be an offence. No one should have the right to observe these American sanctions for fear of having to take administrative or crimi­nal liability,” he said.

Mr Medvedev also said that the government should support sanctions-hit Russian companies to ensure that jobs are not lost. Speaking on other issues, he said that Russia was on the brink of mak­ing a decision on raising the pension age.

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