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The United States government on Friday imposed sanctions against 24 Russians close to the country's President Vladimir Putin.

"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.

As we reported earlier, the USA imposed new sanctions against Russian oligarchs and companies on April 6.

In parallel, and to Trump's fury, former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Robert Mueller has been empowered as a special prosecutor to investigate possible collusion between the president's campaign and Russian Federation. Senior Trump administration officials cast it as part of a concerted, ongoing effort to push back on Putin, emphasizing that since Trump took office previous year, the USA has punished 189 Russian-related people and entities with sanctions.

- Kirill Shamalov, who is reportedly Mr Putin's son-in-law, married to his daughter Katerina Tikhonova, although neither Mr Putin nor the Kremlin have acknowledged that she is his daughter. Assets of those targeted in the United States have been blocked, and all US -based entities are forbidden from doing business with them.

Russia's foreign ministry promised a "tough response" and said the United States had joined the "enemies of the market economy and honest and free competition" as they "use administrative methods to eliminate competitors" such as Rosoboronexport.


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. The United States punished dozens of Russian oligarchs and government officials on Friday, April 6, 2018, with sanctions that took direct aim at President Putin's inner circle, as President Donald Trump's administration tried to show he's not afraid to take tough action against Moscow.

"The Russian government operates for the disproportionate benefit of oligarchs and government elites", Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

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

The president had long disputed the idea that Russia's alleged cyber-espionage and propaganda efforts sped him to victory in the election, seeking better relations with Putin. But the administration said it would give guidance to Americans who may now have business with them about how to wind down that business and avoid running afoul of the sanctions.

Campaigners against Kremlin corruption welcomed the United States move.

The new targets join a host of other USA steps to punish Russia for troubling activities overseas, including its alleged involvement in poisoning an ex-spy with a military-grade nerve agent in the U.K. In tandem with European allies, the Trump administration expelled dozens of Russian diplomats in response and shut down a Russian consulate in Seattle. The administration has also expelled dozens of Russian diplomats and shut down two Russian consulates in response to Russian behavior, including the poisoning of an ex-spy in Britain that has been blamed on Moscow.


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