Putin says U.S. sanctions ‘counterproductive and senseless’

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt attends a joint news conference with Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini in Vantaa Finland

London has blamed the March poisoning in southwestern England of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia - using a Soviet-made nerve agent - on Moscow, plunging the two countries into a diplomatic crisis.

Britain's foreign secretary, Jeremy Hunt, wants the European Union to follow the United States' lead and impose sanctions upon Russian Federation as punishment for a chemical attack that was allegedly carried out by Russian Federation on British soil earlier this year, a claim that Moscow has consistently denied.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Treasury announced to sanction several Russia-related individuals and entities over their involvement in actions against the US sanctions.

He and the State Department's top diplomat for Europe, Wess Mitchell, said Russian Federation is feeling the impact, costing its economy tens of billions of dollars, with companies under sanctions losing a quarter of their operating revenue and having to shed employees. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., called Trump's comments "undisciplined." Sen. He said the European Union and United States should respond to Russian Federation with "one voice".

"I hope it [the meeting] will be productive", Lavrov also said, according to an official transcript.

Putin also said Europe needed the Moscow-led Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project and that Russian Federation was the most suitable supplier of energy for Europe.




The Treasury Department sanctioned two Russian entities for aiding another Russian company, Divetechnoservices, that was sanctioned in June for providing underwater equipment and diving systems to Russia's domestic security service, the FSB.

The Cabinet minister, speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme, praised the U.S. for implementing fresh sanctions against Moscow and said the European Union needed to "make sure we're matching that".

Tuesday's action freezes any assets held in the U.S.by Marina Igorevna Tsareva and Anton Aleksandrovich Nagibin, as well as by the companies Vela-Marine and Lacno S.R.O., which is based in Slovakia.

Amid increasingly tense U.S. -Russia relations marked by alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections, most Americans believe it is more important to improve relations with Russia, rather than taking strong steps against it.

"Ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea-flagged vessels from Russian Federation or elsewhere of any goods being supplied, sold, or transferred to or from the DPRK are prohibited under the U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea and are sanctionable under US law", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Tuesday's action targeted Primorye Maritime Logistics Co. and Gudzon Shipping Co., based in the city of Vladivostok, and six of their vessels.

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