Moscow warns tit-for-tat bill if UK passes anti-Russia legislation

Foreign Minister Lavrov urges parliament to draft bill analogous to legislation being considered by British government.

Moscow warns tit-for-tat bill if UK passes anti-Russia legislation

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Wednesday urged his country's parliament to draft a bill analogous to the legislation being considered by the British government, which would allow for a wide range of tough sanctions against Moscow.

Speaking at a news conference in Moscow after meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Carlos Franca, the minister hardly criticized the British government's anti-Russian steps, saying, “London is used to and likes to play the role of a provocateur in relations between Russia and the West.”

“If this law will completely come into force, I have no doubts that our parliament will have all grounds, and it will be even necessary, to adopt an analogous law,” Lavrov warned.

According to the minister, the 2019 law “establishes the right for the British authorities to impose sanctions on any organizations, individuals and legal entities that are associated with the Russian state.”

“Under this law, sanctions can be imposed, at the request of the British authorities, on any individuals and legal entities only for the fact that they belong to Russia, are Russian citizens and structures.

“This happens for the first time in history,” he stressed.

Lavrov said he is perplexed by the reports about the threat of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, even though troops have begun to return.

He also said Russia is ready to continue discussions on security guarantees proposals, but that the talks should cover the whole range of issues, concerning Russia.

As for NATO’s open-door policy, the minister said in practice it turns into “reckless expansion eastward, creating a threat for Russia."

Moscow, according to Ukrainian officials' claims, recently amassed more than 100,000 troops near Ukraine, prompting fears that the Kremlin could be planning a military offensive against its former Soviet neighbor.

Russia has denied that it is preparing to invade and has accused Western countries of undermining its security through NATO’s plan of expansion towards its borders.

Russia also issued a list of security demands to the West, including a rollback of troop deployments from some ex-Soviet states, and guarantees that some of those states would not join NATO.

In a written response to those demands, Washington said it is committed to upholding NATO's “open-door policy,” while NATO also conveyed the alliance's own reply “in parallel with the United States.”

Brazil gets support

Sergey Lavrov said he discussed with Franca Russian-Brazilian cooperation in the UN Security Council, where Brazil is currently taking part as a temporary member.

Russia supports Brazil’s admission to the Security Council in the capacity of the permanent member, he added.

“Today we confirmed that the Russian Federation confirms its support for Brazil's candidacy for permanent residence in the Security Council in the context of expanding the membership of this body at the expense of additional seats for developing countries in Latin America, Asia, and Africa,” he said.

He added that Russia and Brazil are interacting on security issues, as well as nuclear weapons non-proliferation.

“Both Russia and Brazil are also in favor of the early entry into force of the (Comprehensive) Nuclear Test Ban Treaty,” he said.

For his part, Carlos Franca said Brazil is interested in getting Russia’s military technologies, including those used to develop cutting-edge weapons.

Hüseyin Demir

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