MOSCOW, Nov. 20 (Xinhua) -- A senior official of Russian Foreign Ministry has slashed Britain's attempts to formalize the conditions for the return of seized Russian assets as a mere cover-up for robbery, local media reported Monday.
After the start of the Special Military Operation in Ukraine, London was one of the first to introduce unilateral restrictive measures against Russian individuals and organizations, and intensified efforts to seize Russia's assets within British jurisdiction, said Sergei Belyaev, director of the Second European Department at the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"Nevertheless, despite the loud statements by British officials primarily aimed at the domestic audience, it is already evident that London, almost two years later, has failed to devise an effective mechanism to expropriate the frozen Russian assets. The obstacle to this is the inevitable detrimental consequences for the reputation of the United Kingdom as one of the largest international financial centers," Belyaev was quoted by Russia's RIA Novosti news agency.
"The leadership of our country has repeatedly emphasized that Russia reserves the right to take all necessary reciprocal measures in the form and scope deemed necessary to neutralize corresponding threats from the West," he concluded. ■