August 21, 2018 / 5:54 PM / a month ago

REFILE-Russia calls new U.S. sanctions groundless, pledges response

(Refiles fixing headline spelling, no change to text)

MOSCOW, Aug 21 (Reuters) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Tuesday that new U.S. sanctions introduced over alleged hacking and illegal oil products supply to North Korea were groundless, promising a response from Moscow.

In a statement, published on the ministry website, he also said the sanctions were introduced under a “false pretence”.

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two Russians, one Russian company and one Slovakian firm for what Washington said were their actions to help another Russian company avoid sanctions over the country’s malicious cyber-related activities.

It also announced sanctions on two Russian shipping companies and six vessels it said were involved in the transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels in violation of U.N. restrictions. (Reporting by Vladimir Soldatkin Editing by Alison Williams)

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