United States imposes sanctions on 24 Russians close to Vladimir Putin

The United States has imposed sanctions against Russian businessmen, companies and government officials, striking at associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin in one of Washington's most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for activities including alleged meddling in the 2016 us election.

However, no interview has been agreed to - and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that talks were continuing between Trump and his lawyers about a possible interview.

"Of course we will not leave this current and any new anti-Russian attack without a harsh answer", Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement. Yet in recent weeks Trump's administration has rolled out a series of actions - including several economic and diplomatic steps - to increase pressure on Putin and those presumed to benefit from his power.

The state-owned Russian weapons trading company, Rosoboronexport and Russian Financial Corporation Bank were also targeted under new sanctions.

The sanctions could potentially hurt the Russian economy, especially the financial and energy sectors, and are part of Washington's effort to hold Russia to account for allegedly interfering in the election, which Moscow denies.

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The government responded to that event by arresting opposition politicians and shutting down TV stations that broadcast the event. Miguna further disclosed that his lawyers have been denied the chance to see him since his illegal detention on Tuesday evening.

USA intelligence agencies say Russian Federation used hacking and propaganda in an effort eventually aimed at favouring Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

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".

Putin's government was blamed for the poisoning of a former Russian double agent living in close US ally Britain last month, and the United States and several European states announced plans to expel more than 100 Russian diplomats in response. "We are told that these measures are not aimed against the Russian people".

The latest set of strict measures imposed by the United States against Russia "targets the top Russian entrepreneurs that refused to play to Washington's script", the embassy said in a statement. 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 lists, required under a law passed past year, were informally seen as lists of potential future sanctions targets, even though the public version of the oligarchs list was merely a reprint of Forbes' list of billionaires in Russian Federation.

The Russian embassy in the United States responded: "Washington has delivered yet another blow to U.S".


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