Alexei Navalny attends a hearing to consider an appeal against an earlier court decision to change his suspended sentence to a real prison term, in Moscow, Russia, Feb 20, 2021. [Photo/Agencies] MOSCOW - The Russian Foreign Ministry urged the US administration "not to play with fire" after Washington on Tuesday announced sanctions against Russian individuals and entities over the alleged poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. In an online statement, the foreign ministry called the US sanctions "a hostile anti-Russian attack" under an absurd pretext. "Entangled in its own internal problems, the White House is again trying to cultivate the image of an external enemy. We have repeatedly commented on this American policy, which is devoid of logic and meaning and only more and more worsens bilateral relations," it read. The ministry said Russia will retaliate based on the principle of reciprocity and continue to resolutely defend its national interests. The ministry asked the United States to honor its obligations and destroy chemical weapons, which Russia does not have since 2017. The United States has been deprived of the moral right to lecture others since it is a serial violator of international treaties and agreements in the field of arms control and non-proliferation, it said.