Kremlin says Russia will continue to respond in kind to any sanctions

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The Kremlin on Monday said Russia would continue to respond in kind if further sanctions were imposed, after new US measures last week targeting sovereign debt and blacklisting Russian companies prompted Moscow to retaliate.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters: “The principle of reciprocity is an absolute constant. These (retaliatory) decisions will keep being taken if similar practice continues.”

On Sunday, US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington had told Moscow “there will be consequences” if Alexei Navalny, the opposition figurehead who almost died last year after being given a toxin that Western experts say was Novichok, dies in prison, where he is on hunger strike.

The Kremlin also said it did not accept what it called provocative calls for nationwide protests in support of jailed opposition politician Alexei Navalny, whose health has gravely deteriorated while on hunger strike in prison.

Peskov said unauthorized rallies in support of Navalny would be considered illegal by the authorities.

Navalny’s allies have announced plans for what they hope will be the largest protests in modern Russian history on Wednesday. The United States has warned Russia it will pay a
price if he dies in jail from his hunger strike.

Peskov, who said he did not have any information regarding Navalny’s health condition, added that President Vladimir Putin could not take any action to monitor the health of Russian prisoners.

Navalny, 44, started refusing food on March 31 in protest at what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to provide him with adequate medical care for acute leg and back pain.

Russia’s prison authority said on Monday it had decided to transfer him to a hospital for prisoners.

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