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US Imposes Sanctions on 38 Russian Businessmen, 17 Officials and Companies

US Imposes Sanctions on 38 Russian Businessmen, 17 Officials and Companies

"We would like to advise Washington to get rid of illusions that we can be spoken with the language of sanctions", the ministry said.

The US Department of Treasury announced the sanctions against the Russian business entities, individuals and government officials for their alleged "worldwide malign activity".

The State Department declined to comment.

Seven Russian tycoons, including aluminium magnate Oleg Deripaska, were targeted, along with 17 officials and a dozen Russian companies, the Treasury Department said.

Moscow said on Friday it would respond firmly to new US sanctions imposed against Russian businessmen, companies and government officials for what Washington called "malign activity" including alleged meddling in the 2016 USA election, APA reports quoting Reuters.

He said Moscow "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".

Washington's move against the Russian business houses and individuals would mean that their assets will be frozen in the United States, while Americans will be blocked from doing business with them.

"As the president has said, he wants to have a good relationship with Russia but that's going to depend on some of the actions by the Russians", she said.

"The requisitioning of private property and other people's money is known as theft", the ministry added.

The fresh sanctions are the latest step by the United States against Russia following the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England, interference in the U.S. 2016 election and a cyber-attack. But Leonid Slutsky, who chairs the foreign relations committee in Russia's lower house of parliament, said there was "no sensible reasons or grounds" for the US actions.

The seizure of Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States has demonstrated that "the right to private property, once sacred for Americans, has become an empty phrase", the ministry said.

But Congress persisted, backed by evidence from United States intelligence agencies, and in March the administration finally imposed sanctions on 19 Russian entities for "malicious cyber attacks".

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russian Federation in the 2016 election, something that Trump denies.

So far Mueller has indicted 19 people, including 13 Russians, and reports suggest he may soon ask to interview Trump himself.

"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said.

But the move is likely to provoke a strong response from the Kremlin, which has expressed increasing exasperation with Washington's policies under the Trump administration despite hopes that the president may take a softer approach toward Moscow.

Ties had already plummeted to a post Cold War low over last month's attack on a former Russian double agent living in England. And last month, the USA targeted 19 Russians and five Russian entities with sanctions in the first use of new sanctions powers Congress passed past year in response to the alleged election-meddling.

Trump's administration reacted by expelling 60 Russians they accused of being spies working under diplomatic cover and Moscow responded in kind.

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