PRAGUE (Dispatches) – The United States keeps putting pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to undermine his efforts to normalize the situation in the country, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Sputnik on Wednesday, reacting to a new batch of Washington's sanctions on Syria.
"Sanctions are one of the [U.S.] tools to exert pressure on Damascus in order to make it difficult for Bashar Assad and his government to continue this work [to normalize the situation in Syria]," Ryabkov said.
The U.S. administration is apparently not satisfied with the successful efforts of the legitimate government in Damascus to stabilize the situation in the country and maintain the territorial integrity of Syria, he added.
On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control unveiled a new round of restrictions against Syria. It sanctioned 16 individuals and entities associated with the Assad administration.
Earlier, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee announced the decision to impose new restrictions on the Syrian government, its supporters and those who fund the country’s aircraft and energy industries.
U.S. sanctions prohibit material support to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, including shipments of oil to Syrian government-controlled ports, as well as material support to designated terrorist groups.
Damascus has repeatedly slammed U.S. and EU sanctions, with President Bashar Assad stressing that the damage caused by the restrictions were more damaging than the terrorists.