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Referencing Gogol, Russia Slams EU for 'Playing Into Hands of Terrorists'

Published: July 28, 2014 (Issue # 1821)



  • Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov, left, and Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the foreign intelligence service, were among those added to the EU's sanctions list released Friday.
    Photo: Presidential Press Service / Kremlin.ru

In a strongly worded statement with at least one obscure literary reference, Russia's Foreign Ministry has lashed out at the European Union for its decision to impose sanctions against top security officials, saying the "irresponsible" move would "be greeted with enthusiasm by international terrorists."

Federal Security Service director Alexander Bortnikov and Mikhail Fradkov, the head of the foreign intelligence service, were among those added to the EU's sanctions list, which was released Friday and includes several other high-ranking officials and members of Russia's Security Council as well.

State Duma Deputy Mikhail Degtyaryov, Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, Krasnodar Governor Alexander Tkachyov and Pavel Gubarev, "people's governor" of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic, were also included on the list.

The latest round of sanctions comes in the wake of the July 17 downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, in which more than 200 of the 298 people killed were European citizens.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said "the death of 300 innocent people in the MH17 crash and the disrespectful roaming around the crash site of marauding soldiers, the behavior of Russia leaves us no other choice" but to impose further sanctions, in comments carried by newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Saturday.

With 15 people having been added to the list Friday alongside 18 new entities, the grand total of those sanctioned by the EU over the conflict in Ukraine now stands at 87 people and 20 organizations, all accused of contributing to the destabilization of eastern Ukraine, where pro-Russian separatists continue to battle Ukrainian troops.

Russia's Foreign Ministry denounced the move, saying it was based on "Washington and Kiev's fairy tales regarding the events taking place in Ukraine," and adding that the EU had "deprived itself of an alternative, objective, source of information" in its latest decision.

Moreover, the ministry questioned the wisdom of the EU decision from a security standpoint.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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