Russia vows response to latest US sanctions

Russia vows response to latest US sanctions
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Russia on Tuesday promised to respond to the latest U.S. sanctions, which the government described as baseless.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the allegations of Russia engaging in hacking, as well as illegally supplying oil to North Korea, were groundless, according to Reuters.

In a statement on the ministry website, he said the sanctions were introduced under a “false pretense.”

The Trump administration announced earlier Tuesday that it is sanctioning several Russian shipping companies and vessels for violating United Nations sanctions on North Korea for its nuclear program.

In addition, the Trump administration said it's sanctioning two Russian firms and two Russian individuals. The Treasury Department said it did so because the two companies helped a third Russian firm, Divetechnoservices, avoid U.S. sanctions.

One of the newly sanctioned companies, Vela-Marine Ltd., tried to act on behalf of Divetechnoservices. The other, Lacno S.R.O., provided material support for Divetechnoservices, according to U.S. officials.

Divetechnoservices was sanctioned in June for aiding Russia’s domestic security service, the FSB, in its underwater and cyber operations.

The Treasury Department also hit two Divetechnoservices employees with sanctions.

The targets of the new sanctions will not have access to the U.S. financial system or their U.S.-based assets.