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As if to back up Hunt's assertions, top administration officials told USA lawmakers Tuesday they are prepared to impose additional sanctions on Russian Federation if its behavior does not change.

Rostec claims its Avtomatika unit, which specializes in encryption and secure communications, supplies the White House with technology that allows Trump and Putin to communicate privately.

"This discussion has shown there are clear limits of how far we can go on sanctions", said another European Union diplomat.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is moving its military infrastructure closer to the Russian border and Russia needs to strengthen its own infrastructure in response, President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday. Mr. Trump made the comments in an interview with Reuters.

"Consequences for violating these sanctions will remain in place until we have achieved the final, fully verified denuclearization of North Korea", he continued.

USA sanctions came into force on Wednesday over Moscow's alleged role in the poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter with the nerve agent Novichok in the British city of Salisbury.

Hours after the Microsoft report was released, the Kremlin said it did not understand allegations from the United States corporation and that they lacked evidence.

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Hunt spoke after Washington imposed sanctions against Moscow covering national-security-related goods and promised more hard-hitting measures unless Russian Federation gives "reliable assurances" it will no longer use chemical weapons.

A Senate panel united in bipartisan frustration Tuesday as Trump administration officials rebuffed several of their questions about the impact and implementation of Russian financial sanctions.

At his July summit with the Russian leader in Helsinki, Trump appeared to be rather conciliatory towards his counterpart, shortly after raising hackles at a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit in Brussels with his contrarian stance.

Despite a lack of tangible improvement in relations, which are at their lowest ebb since the end of the Cold War, Putin on Wednesday reiterated that the meeting was "useful".

The EU recently agreed to renew sanctions against Russian Federation relating to its annexation of Crimea and activity in the region.

"I believe it was useful. Nobody counted on resolving all the disputed issues in the course of a two-hour conversation", Mr Putin said.

"The ruble should not be this weak based on, shall we say, fundamentals", said Chris Weafer, a Moscow-based senior partner at the Macro Advisory consultancy. There is also a bill sponsored by Republican John Barrasso of Wyoming that targets specifically the Nord Stream-2 natural gas project.


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