Russian Federation says it will respond firmly to United States sanctions

Moscow's UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzia

Moscow's UN ambassador Vasily Nebenzia

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.

"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.

"Washington has delivered yet another blow on the Russian-US relations. Now, the sanctions cover captains of Russian business who refuse to play to Washington's scenario".

With endless sanctions, including those for the removal of competitors with administrative measures, Washington has actually gone against the market economy and free, fair competition, the ministry said in a statement.

The sanctions freeze any assets that those targeted have in U.S. jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them. But they noted that a number of Russian oligarchs and politicians and affiliated businesses have already been identified by the Treasury and State Department as potential targets.

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"This included their occupation of Crimea, instigation of violence in eastern Ukraine, support for the Assad regime in Syria... and ongoing malicious cyber-activity", the senior official said.

Washington's move against the Russian business houses and individuals would mean that their assets will be frozen in the United States, while Americans will be blocked from doing business with them. "Of course, we will not leave the current and any new anti-Russian attack without a tough response".

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.

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 global 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.

The sanctions, according to the Treasury, are not a response to anything in particular, but rather what they consider Russia's "malign activities across the world".

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