* Russians mock United States and European Union
* Says sanctions will miss the mark, but vows to retaliate
* Putin's "grey cardinal" says feels like he has won an
(Adds quotes, context, recasts throughout)
By Steve Gutterman
MOSCOW, March 18 A senior ally of Vladimir Putin
accused the West of behaving like capricious children over
Kremlin moves to annex Crimea, and another said his own
inclusion on a sanctions list was "a kind of political Oscar
from America for best male supporting role."
Prominent supporters of President Putin, who signed a treaty
on Tuesday to formally wrest Crimea from Ukraine, mocked Western
countries over visa bans and asset freezes imposed by the United
States and the European Union in an effort to stall Putin's
drive to bring the Ukrainian region into Russia.
The Foreign Ministry said Western sanctions would "lead
nowhere" and that Russia would retaliate.
The United States imposed visa bans and asset freezes on 11
Russians and Ukrainians on Monday, including four Russian
lawmakers. The EU imposed the same punishments on 21 people. The
measures bar those affected from traveling to the United States
and EU and freeze any assets they hold there.
Several Russians targeted said they considered the sanctions
a badge of honour.
"This does not bother me - on the contrary, I'm proud,"
Interfax news agency quoted Vladislav Surkov, a close aide once
known as Putin's 'grey cardinal' for his behind-the-scenes
influence, as saying.
"I consider this a kind of political Oscar from America for
best male supporting role."
Sergei Zheleznyak, a pro-Kremlin deputy speaker of the State
Duma, Russia's lower parliament house, said the United States
and EU were acting like "capricious kindergarten children",
With acid sarcasm that reflected the tone of ties which have
hit a post-Cold War low, the Duma urged U.S. President Barack
Obama and the EU to impose the same penalties on hundreds more
members of parliament.
"OBAMA AND THE EUROBUREAUCRATS"
"We propose that Mr. Obama and the ... Eurobureaucrats
include all State Duma deputies who voted in favour of this
resolution on the list of Russian citizens affected by U.S. and
EU sanctions," a declaration adopted by a 353-0 vote said.
Western governments say that Russia has taken control over
Ukraine's Crimea region by sending in troops, which Moscow
denies, and have denounced a weekend referendum in which
authorities said nearly 97 percent of Crimeans voted to join
Russia as an illegal violation of Ukrainian sovereignty.
Crimea has a majority ethnic Russian population.
"They don't like the fact that our brotherly peoples .. have
practically unanimously decided on ... integration into the
Russian Federation," the Duma declaration said.
It accused the United States of "political hysteria",
asserting that Washington targeted Duma deputy Yelena Mizulina
not for any link to Crimea but because she championed a ban on
gay "propaganda" that Washington says is discriminatory.
Officials singled out for sanctions said the measures would
miss the mark because they hold no assets in the West.
"Canadian PM Stephen Harper put me on the list," Deputy
Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who is on U.S. and Canadian
sanctions list, said on Twitter. "Looks like they're also
looking for my accounts and villas. They wish."
Igor Sechin, a Putin ally who heads state oil company
Rosneft, likened the sanctions to blackmail and said such
tactics would work against the West's own "agents of influence".
"As for the country's loyal elite, sanctions have always led
to the consolidation and concentration of forces against
pressure from outside," Prime news agency quoted Sechin, who has
not been hit with sanctions, as saying.
"I felt some pride to see myself on the blacklist," Duma
member Sergei Mironov, who is on the EU list, told Interfax.
"It's funny that they're freezing accounts ... I have no
accounts. Let them impose whatever sanctions they like."
(Additional reporting by Thomas Grove, Maria Tsvetkova,
Elizabeth Piper and Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Ralph