MOSCOW – Russia will not leave unanswered Washington sanctions against Russian individuals and companies for alleged cyber crimes.
The statement came from Russia’s own Foreign Ministry on Friday.
The US Treasury Department announced Thursday that the US government has imposed sanctions on 17 individuals allegedly linked to a virtual Russian criminal organization called Evil Corp., which coordinated malware attacks and was accused of stealing about $ 100 million in 40 countries.
“If the United States had real evidence, it would have asked the competent Russian authorities to conduct an investigation, for example on the basis of the 1999 bilateral mutual assistance treaty. As far as we know, that request has not been received,” the ministry said in a statement.
The Russian Foreign Ministry also called the sanctions “attacks” and ensured that they would not be left unanswered.
“Like previous US attacks, this one will not go unanswered either,” the ministry emphasized.
Meanwhile, five ships, one company and three individuals were blacklisted for fueling the Russian Armed Forces in Syria, the Treasury Department spokeswoman said on Thursday.
In particular, sanctions were imposed on Maritaim Assistans, which, according to the US Treasury Department, would be a Sovfracht “shell company”, as well as its employees Ivan Okorokov, Karen Stepanyan and Ilia Loginov. Ships Yaz, Sig, Sudak, Passat and OT-2077 are also blacklisted.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) participated in the disclosure of the scheme, the Treasury Department said. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin has classified US sanctions against three Russian citizens working for Sovfracht as absolutely unacceptable.
“It is apparently the continuation of the old US policy based on unilateral sanctions, national sanctions, which we find absolutely unacceptable ,” the diplomat said.
Sanctions against Sovfracht
The Russian company Sovfracht was sanctioned by the US in September 2016 for breaching Crimea-related sanctions. Since then, the company has been prohibited from conducting dollar transactions without the special consent of the US authorities.
In June 2018, the US Department of Justice accused five Russian citizens, Sovfracht officials, and three Syrians of attempting to supply aviation fuel to Syria in violation of US sanctions.