Russia’s foreign ministry said Moscow has the right to a tit-for-tat response to the second wave of sanctions imposed by the EU over its annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

The EU imposed an new set of sanctions on Friday, adding 12 Russians and Crimeans to a list of people targeted by EU asset freezes and travel bans. There are now 33 on the list.

“It’s a pity that the European council made a decision that is divorced from reality,” the ministry’s spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Saturday.

“We believe it is time to return to the platform of pragmatic co-operation that reflects the interests of our countries.

“However, of course, the Russian side reserves itself the right to give a comparable answer to the actions taken.”

In a separate statement, the ministry said Moscow hoped the decision to send monitors to Ukraine would help resolve what it called an “internal Ukrainian crisis”.

On Friday, after several failed attempts in recent weeks, Russia agreed to join the 56 other members of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe in a consensus decision to send a six-month OSCE monitoring mission to Ukraine.

“The mission’s mandate reflects the new political and legal realities and does not apply to Crimea and Sevastopol, which became a part of Russia,” the Russian foreign ministry said.

“Russia hopes that the objective and impartial work of the international observers will help to overcome the internal Ukrainian crisis, stop rampant nationalist banditry, eradicate ultra-radical tendencies.”… see more

source: Guardian UK