‘Theater of the absurd’: Kremlin lambasts US sanctions against Russian research institutes

‘Theater of the absurd’: Kremlin lambasts US sanctions against Russian research institutes

The US decision to blacklist Russian research institutes is a 'sanctions theater of the absurd,' Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday, TASS reports. 

"This is a follow-up to some sanctions dependence, a kind of the sanctions theater of the absurd," Peskov said, explaining that Washington is dependent on imposing sanctions and cannot live without sanctions and without declaring restrictions for anyone every day.

According to him, the Kremlin dismissed any claims that Russian organizations "could be behind developing chemical and biological weapons." "This is absolute nonsense. And given the scientific research of one of the institutes [which is engaged in developing Russia’s coronavirus vaccine] we cannot rule out that this is another example of uncovered and rampant non-competitive struggle," Peskov said.

The US Department of Commerce earlier blacklisted the 33rd Central Research and Testing Institute and the 48th Central Research Institute of the Russian Defense Ministry, as well as the Moscow State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology. The notice specified that, in the case of the 48th Central Research Institute, restrictive measures will apply to all of its three facilities in Sergiev Posad, Yekaterinburg and the Kirov Region.

The document stated that the US authorities had reason to suspect the 33rd Central Research Institute of having links with the Russian chemical program and the chemical weapons test site. It also alleged that the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology had links with the Russian chemical weapons program and the 48th Central Research Institute - with the Russian biological weapons program.

This blacklist includes a total of 60 organizations from a number of countries and territories. This is not only Russia, but also China (including Hong Kong), France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Oman, Pakistan, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates. The US administration’s decision implies tightening rules of US export control over those on the blacklist. This concerns a ban on issuing licenses for purchasing dual-use goods in the US.

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