Treasury Slaps New Sanctions on Russia, Alleging Cyber and North Korea Violations

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Similarly, although Trump had a warm meeting last month in Helsinki with Russian President Vladimir Putin, his government has been increasing pressure on Moscow. "Today's action against these deceptive actors is critical to ensure that the public is aware of the tactics undertaken by designated parties and that these actors remain blocked from the USA financial system".

South Korea is to inspect a Russian cargoship featured on a new USA blacklist for alleged trading with North Korea.

Russia's Foreign Ministry denounced Microsoft's accusations in a statement and said, "It is regrettable that a large worldwide company, which has been working in the Russian market for a long time, quite actively and successfully, has to take part in a witch-hunt that has engulfed Washington". Mr. Trump made the comments in an interview with Reuters.

The ruble was down 1% to 67.90 per United States dollar after the Treasury Department blacklisted a set of Russian companies, entities, and individuals accused of helping North Korea evade global sanctions. More will automatically come into place soon unless Russian Federation complies with USA requests, which is unlikely to happen.

A number of Western countries have punished Moscow by expelling Russian diplomats in a coordinated manner, and some have gone further with other punitive measures.

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It also has curbs on doing business with Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

While legislators have been very active in sponsoring more anti-Russia sanction bills, the White House has been warier in its approach, with President Trump drawing personal criticism for his softer stance on all Russia-related issues.

"Europe needs Nord Stream 2", Putin said Wednesday.

He added that U.S. Russian Federation policy is based on the recognition that "to be effective, U.S. diplomacy must be backed by military power that is second to none and fully integrated with our allies and all of our instruments of power". "We hope that our American partners will eventually realize the uselessness of this kind of politics and we will start constructive cooperation".

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