USA hits Russian individuals and companies with sanctions over North Korean ties

USA hits Russian individuals and companies with sanctions over North Korean ties

The US Treasury has imposed fresh sanctions against Russian actors in connection with the Kremlin's aggressive cyber attacks.

Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two Russian shipping companies and six Russian vessels.

At the time of the sanctions in June, Mr Mnuchin said the U.S. was "engaged in an ongoing effort to counter malicious actors working at the behest of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence units to increase Russia's offensive cyber capabilities".

US officials also slapped sanctions on two Russian individuals for helping Divetechnoservices circumvent USA sanctions.

"Absolutely. You will continue without a doubt to see more from this administration", Sigal Mandelker, US Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence told a Senate hearing when asked if more sanctions were forthcoming.

Nagibin did not answer a call seeking comment.

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The targets of the fresh sanctions are now banned from the USA financial system and their US based assets are blocked.

The additional sanctions have been made to "disrupt Russian efforts to circumvent our sanctions", said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Divetechnoservices, a Russian company that makes diving equipment, was among five companies and technology firms sanctioned by Treasury in June for aiding the FSB in its cyber and underwater operations.

Two employees of Divetechnoservices, Marina Igorevna Tsareva and Anton Aleksandrovich Nagibin, are also being sanctioned for acting on behalf of the company and helping it evade USA penalties.

The ships - and two Vladivostok-based shipping companies - violated USA and United Nations sanctions on North Korea, the Treasury Department said Tuesday in announcing the sanctions on its website.

The U.S. sanctioned owners of six Russian ships over claims they are helping transfer refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels, as tensions with both Moscow and Pyongyang intensify.

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