Russian Federation vows tough response to new USA sanctions

List of Russian businessmen & companies added to US sanctions

The United States introduced sanctions on Friday against seven Russian businessmen, twelve companies under their control and 17 officials, a senior government official told reporters.

"We will not let the current attack, or any new anti-Russian attack, go without a tough response", Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, after the USA sanctions which also target 12 companies owned by the oligarchs, 17 senior Russian officials and a state-owned arms export company. Senior administration officials cast the penalties as part of a concerted and ongoing effort by the United States to push back Russian President Vladimir Putin's government and his inner circle, emphasizing that since Trump took office previous year, the USA has punished 189 Russian-related people and entities with sanctions.

United States officials confirmed that their action against the oligarchs was in part related to Russia's alleged interference in the U.S. vote, but stressed the broader nature of their concerns.

The latest set of strict measures imposed by the U.S. against Russia "targets the top Russian entrepreneurs that refused to play to Washington's script", the embassy said in a statement.

U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speaks in the White House briefing room in Washington on April 26, 2017. The Treasury Department said Mr Deripaska was accused of illegal wiretaps, extortion, racketeering, money laundering and even death threats against business rivals.

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On the London Stock Exchange, global depositary receipts of En+, an energy company majority-owned by Deripaska, dropped by 19 percent on news of the sanctions. Mr Deripaska's conglomerate, Basic Element, said it regretted the sanctions and was analysing them with its lawyers.

Those punished aren't necessarily involved in the Russian actions in Syria, Ukraine or elsewhere that have drawn consternation from the west.

"Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government's destabilising activities", a statement from the treasury department said on Friday. But officials said the goal was to put pressure on Mr Putin by showing that those who have benefited financially from his position of power are fair game. Both Mr Miller and Mr Kostin are longtime key members of Mr Putin's team.

The sanctions - the Trump administration's most aggressive action against Kremlin-connected individuals - target 17 Russian government officials, a state-owned weapons trading company, and seven so-called oligarchs and 12 companies affiliated with them.

Numerous targets are individuals and businesses associated with Russia's energy sector, including those affiliated with state-owned Gazprom.

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There was no formal reaction from the Kremlin.

"Nobody has been tougher on Russian Federation than I have", Trump said.

"This is an example of uncontrolled anti-Russian hysteria led by the USA and successfully exported to the European continent", Slutsky was quoted as saying by the Russian newswire Tass. Assets of those targeted in the United States have been blocked, and all US -based entities are forbidden from doing business with them. "Now, the sanctions cover captains of Russian business who refuse to play to Washington's scenario", the embassy said. It also denounced the United States move as "yet another misguided step that [leads] to the destruction of free enterprise, competition and integration in the world economy." . In January, lists of Russian officials and oligarchs were published by the State Department and Treasury.

But Friday's announcement also came as Washington and its allies face a new diplomatic crisis with the Kremlin over the poisoning of Skripal, a former Russian double agent, and his daughter on British soil.

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