Russian Federation says it will respond firmly to new United States sanctions

Scotland Yard published statement of Yulia Skripal

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.

The new economic 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.

The state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport, which has long-standing ties to Syria and its subsidiary, Russian Financial Corporation Bank were also targeted under new sanctions.

Above all else, Russia's attempts to subvert Western democracy prompted the U.S. sanctions, officials said, in a direct nod to concerns that the USA president has failed to challenge Mr Putin for alleged interference in the 2016 election that brought Mr Trump to power. In 2003, Shamalov married Putin's daughter.

Former Solicitor General Kenneth Starr said Saturday on "Fox & Friends" that the Mueller probe into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russian Federation doesn't seem to be actually investigating that particular allegation.

The politicians noted in the joint statement that Russia's government has authorized an attack on the British territory, which is a violation of the global law.

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"Having obtained zero results from the 50 previous rounds of sanctions, Washington continues to employ fear with the refusal to issue American visas, the threatening of Russian businesses with the freezing of companies' assets and property, while forgetting that the requisitioning of private property and other people's money is known as theft", the Ministry added.

The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted have in USA jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them. "The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin 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." . Other companies that were put on the list include an agriculture company, Agroholding Kuban; one of the largest diversified industrial groups in Russia, the Basic Element; also listed are a auto, train and plane producer, Russian Cars (Russkie Mashiny).

As a result, all assets subject to United States jurisdiction of the designated individuals and entities, and of any other entities blocked by operation of law as a result of their ownership by a sanctioned party, are frozen, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealings with them.

Mnunchin claimed that Russian oligarchs and elites profited from this "corrupt system" and could no longer be protected despite their government's activities.

"Washington has delivered yet another blow on the Russian-US relations".

Trump's administration reacted by expelling 60 Russians they accused of being spies working under diplomatic cover and Moscow responded in kind. Some, but not all, of the individuals sanctioned will also be prohibited from entering the United States.

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