US Imposes New Sanctions Against Russia for Its Cyber Operations

Photo from Ukrinform–UATV

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

The website of the U.S. Department of Treasury specifies that the sanctions apply to Vela Marine Ltd, located in Saint Petersburg, Lacno S.R.O, located in Slovakia, and Marina Igorevna Tsareva and Anton Aleksandrovich Nagibin, who are associated with Divetechnoservices.

In June, the U.S. sanctioned Divetechnoservices, also based in Saint Petersburg, for procuring underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies, including Russia’s Security Service (FSB).

The Obama administration sanctioned the FSB in December 2016, citing the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Vela-Marine Ltd. was sanctioned “for having attempted to act or purported to act for or on behalf of Divetechnoservices.”

Lacno S.R.O. was sanctioned “for having materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services in support of Divetechnoservices.”

 In a statement on the Russian foreign ministry’s website, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov called the latest sanctions groundless and promised a response from Moscow.

Ryabkov’s criticism extended to separate sanctions Washington imposed on Tuesday on two Russian shipping companies that it said were involved in transferring refined petroleum products to North Korean vessels in violation of United Nations’ restrictions.