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Russian Federation says it will respond firmly to new USA sanctions


Senior Trump administration officials cast it as part of a concerted, ongoing effort to push back on Putin, emphasizing that since Trump took office past year, the USA has punished 189 Russia-related people and entities with sanctions. The action, taken under pressure from Congress, might hamper President Donald Trump's hopes for better relations with Putin.

Washington officials as well as the US media, however, have repeatedly claimed that the new sanctions are aimed exclusively at "Russian oligarchs and [government] elites, who profit from this corrupt system", as it was put by the US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

New US actions against Russian Federation come in response to full range of activities going back well before Trump administration took office, an unnamed administration official told journalists.

Some other U.S. administration officials then reiterated that the restrictions were meant only to cripple the finances of those elites who have "disproportionately benefited" from the decisions of the Russian authorities.

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"The Russian government engages in a range of malign activity around the globe, including continuing to occupy Crimea and instigate violence in eastern Ukraine, supplying the Assad regime with material and weaponry as they bomb their own civilians, attempting to subvert Western democracies and malicious cyber activities", it added. "Of course, we will not leave the current and any new anti-Russian attack without a tough response".

Russian state companies under the US sanctions will receive additional government support, Interfax cited Russia's Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov as saying. Assets of those targeted in the United States have been blocked, and all USA -based entities are forbidden from doing business with them.

The Russian embassy in the United States responded: "Washington has delivered yet another blow to U.S".

Recently, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow has not received official confirmation of reports in foreign media on the United States possible plans to put Russian businessmen on its sanctions lists. "Now, the sanctions cover captains of Russian business who refuse to play to Washington's scenario", the embassy said.

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