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Tighter US sanctions over Ukraine ‘destroying relations’: Kremlin

The United States is further damaging its relations with Moscow by adding a Russian offshore oil and gas field to its sanctions imposed over Ukraine, a Kremlin spokesman said Friday.

“The trend to continue a dialogue in the language of sanctions is further destroying our bilateral relations, unfortunately,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, quoted by TASS news agency.

He commented after Washington widened its sanctions against Russian energy projects to include the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye oil field off the far eastern coast of Russia.

Peskov said that Russia views Western sanctions as short-sighted and insisted its economy is able to withstand the pressure.

“The economy is showing its steadiness, so I don’t think we can talk about any significant or systematic influence from such actions, which we do not consider successful, legitimate or most importantly far-sighted,” Peskov said.

The United States added the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye oil and gas field controlled by Russian energy giant Gazprom to its list of energy projects that fall under an export ban, according a statement posted on the Federal Register’s website on Friday.

The Federal Register said the field “is reported to contain substantial reserves of oil in addition to reserves of gas.”

The oil and gas field is located in far eastern Russia in the Sea of Okhotsk off Sakhalin Island. Gazprom says on its website that it is set to go into production in 2018.

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