Moscow: Russia vowed to retaliate against what it called “unfounded” U.S. sanctions imposed a day earlier on 12 Russians for human rights abuses, including allegedly withholding medical care to a whistleblowing lawyer who died in a Russian prison.

“We view the decision by the U.S. administration to impose visa and financial sanctions against 12 Russian citizens … as unfounded and dictated by a cynical desire to use human tragedy for unscrupulous political goals,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.