On January 9, the US Department of the Treasury blacklisted five Russian individuals in connection with the Magnitsky Act for human rights abuses.
Under the act named after Russian tax fraud whistleblower Sergey Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow jail in 2009, the five Russian people will have their USA assets blocked and are banned from travelling to the United States.
The Kremlin deplored Tuesday the United States' blacklisting of a high-ranking official and the prime suspects in the 2006 murder of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko as a move that further damages bilateral ties. The head of Russia's investigative committee and a close aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Alexander Bastrykin, was also blacklisted.
The act envisages sanctioning Russian officials whom the USA believes to be responsible for human rights violations.
Andrei Lugovoi and Dmitri Kovtun are the men accused of poisoning him.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman John Kirby claimed on Monday that additions to the sanctions list followed "extensive research" and targeted individuals with "roles in the repressive machinery of Russia's law enforcement systems, as well as individuals involved in notorious human rights violations".
Former Iranian president Rafsanjani dies aged 82
Rafsanjani was never seen again giving the Friday prayer sermon, the highest spiritual event of the week since the revolution. He was believed to be one of the richest men in the country and was placed by Forbes on its list of " Millionaire Mullahs ".
British investigators have concluded that Litvinenko ingested the highly radioactive isotope polonium 210 while drinking tea in a luxury London hotel with Lugovoi and Kovtun.
The new sanctions came less than two weeks before President-elect Donald Trump is set to succeed outgoing President Barack Obama.
A senior official told the AFP news agency that Obama's final update to the Magnitsky Act does not include Putin himself, because the U.S. does not want a complete breakdown in ties. "Our goal remains to bring them to court", said Scotland Yard back then in a statement.
Peskov added, "We are convinced that this does not meet our interests, or those of Washington".
In the past, Moscow has retaliated tit-for-tat to Magnitsky Act sanctions, blacklisting USA officials it accuses of rights violations and abuses of power. Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway reaffirmed on Monday that Trump plans to ease USA sanctions against Russian Federation upon taking office later this month.
However, the move comes on top of a series of measures taken by the Obama administration in recent weeks to punish Russian Federation for the hacking during the US presidential campaign and for harassment of American diplomats.