14:02 GMT +316 December 2019
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    'Absurd Games': Russia Vows Response to New US Sanctions Over Election Meddling

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    Earlier on Monday, the US Treasury announced on its website that Washington imposed sanctions on two Russian nationals and three firms tied to an internet research agency over their alleged interference in the 2018 midterm elections.

    Moscow will respond to the new US sanctions, which it considers unreasonable, Russia's Foreign Ministry said. It also called on Washington to stop playing absurd sanction games. 

    "We are extremely surprised with the new portion of anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the US administration on 30 September. They target randomly selected Russians, a Taiwanese citizen, commercial organizations registered in the Seychelles, the Czech Republic and a number of other countries, several aircraft and ships. It’s unclear what forced Washington bureaucrats to include them all in one list, and what the planes and ships have to do with the interference in the American elections," the ministry said in a commentary.

    "As before, this anti-Russian move will not go unanswered. At the same time, we urge American politicians to stop playing the absurd sanctions games, which always bring zero results, to come back to common sense," the ministry stressed.

    The US Treasury announced on Monday that it had taken action against "Russian actors that attempted to influence the 2018 US midterm elections," imposing sanctions on two Russian nationals, Denis Kuzmin and Igor Nesterov, with links to the Internet Research Agency. The latest sanctions also targeted three companies -  Autolex Transport Ltd, Beratex Group Limited and Linburg Industries Ltd, the statement by the Treasury added.  

    The Internet Research Agency is a Russian firm that was previously accused in former FBI chief Robert Mueller's report of using social media to meddle with the 2016 presidential election in the US. Previously, the US imposed sanctions against Russia over its alleged meddling in US elections in 2016 and 2018, and this resulted in an investigation by Mueller. Two years on, he said that he found no evidence of collusion between President Donald Trump and his campaign with Russian officials. 

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