Russian Federation vows tough response to new USA sanctions

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The Trump administration is preparing to impose new sanctions on powerful Russian business and political figures under a law passed previous year in response to alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The US authorities have also put on the sanction list a number of Russian officials, including Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, chairman of the Federation Council's worldwide affairs committee Konstantin Kosachyov, and head of the federal communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, Aleksander Zharov, as follows from a news release by the US Department of the Treasury.

Russia's state arms exporter, a key tool in Putin's efforts to support the modernization of his own military by selling advanced hardware around the world, was also added to the sanctions list.

CNN said, the fresh sanctions are the latest step by Washington against Russia following the poisoning of a former Russian spy in England, interference in the US Presidential election and a cyber attack.

Despite the latest sanctions, which took the number of people and entities linked with Russian Federation to be punished since Mr Trump took office to 189, the White House has said discussions about a summit with Mr Putin would continue.

As a result of the punishment, all assets of the designated persons and entities that are subject to USA jurisdiction are frozen, and US persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them.

He said that Trump's attorneys are correct in trying to protect the president from a potential "perjury trap", but added that it may be wise for the New Yorker to go ahead with any interview so as not to embroil him in grand jury case over a subpoena.

Campaigners against Kremlin corruption welcomed the USA move.

Above all else, Russia's attempts to subvert Western democracy prompted the US sanctions, officials said, in a direct nod to concerns that the USA president has failed to challenge Putin for alleged interference in the 2016 election that brought Trump to power.

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The ongoing diplomatic tussle between Russian Federation and U.S., which was triggered after alleged poisoning of a former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughters in United Kingdom by nerve gas agent, is being expanded on each passing day.

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

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

Trump told reporters in January he was "looking forward" to an interview with Mueller, insisting there was no collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.

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

"Russian oligarchs and elites who profit from this corrupt system will no longer be insulated from the consequences of their government's destabilizing activities".

"There remains only a desire of the United States to ensure by all means its global hegemony", it said.

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