Putin deplores US sanctions, but lauds Trump meeting

Britain's Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt attends a joint news conference with Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini in Vantaa Finland

Russian President Vladimir Putin is criticizing the latest round of US sanctions.

Speaking after talks with Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto in Sochi, Putin described last month's Helsinki summit with U.S. President Donald Trump as positive, but blamed Trump's administration for continuing to hit Russian Federation with sanctions. He said the Trump administration's' policy of imposing restrictions on the Kremlin is ill-informed and won't bring the results the U.S.is hoping for.

Referring to the interection between President Ashraf Ghani and new Pakistan's prime minister, the U.S. general said Pakistan and Afghanistan improved their relation in some area and there was progress on military side as well.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that new US sanctions introduced over alleged hacking and illegal oil products supply to North Korea were groundless, promising a response from Moscow.

It said the buyer was the Taesong Bank, a North Korean entity subordinate to the Workers' Party of Korea Office 39, "which engages in illicit economic activities for North Korean leadership".

"We will not hesitate to do so if its conduct does not demonstrably and significantly change", Mandelker added.

In a statement published on the Russian Foreign Ministry website, Ryabkov said the latest sanctions were introduced under a "false pretense".

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The ruble was down 1% to 67.90 per U.S. dollar after the Treasury Department blacklisted a set of Russian companies, entities, and individuals accused of helping North Korea evade global sanctions.

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.

Trump and Putin met in Helsinki in July, their first bilateral meeting, after which the U.S. president was highly criticised at home for being very conciliatory with his Russian counterpart.

"The Americans are weaponizing the US dollar, and it's absolutely right for Russian Federation to want to diversify its foreign currency holdings", said John Meyer, a partner at SP Angel in London.

It's yet unclear exactly what kind of steps Mr. Trump would require to ease such sanctions.

He said Russia's offer of talks still stood however. He also said that Moscow will not leave such moves without a response.

Kim Hyo-sun tells us more.

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