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Russia vows ‘reciprocal’ response to EU’s political sanctions

The file photo shows the main building of Russia's Foreign Ministry in Moscow.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry says it will respond in kind to travel and financial sanctions imposed by the European Union on a department of its military intelligence service over alleged cyber attacks.

“Of course this unfriendly action by the EU will not be left unanswered,” the ministry said in a statement on Friday.

It slammed the bloc's politically-motivated sanctions and said, "In diplomacy everything is reciprocal."

The statement came after EU on Thursday levied sanctions on a department of Russia’s military intelligence service over suspicions of participation in major cyber attacks across the world.

The EU said in a statement that its first ever cyber sanctions, which include travel bans and asset freezes apply to six individuals and three entities, had targeted the department for special technologies of the Russian military intelligence service, known as Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation.

The EU accused the Russian service of being behind two cyber attacks that hit several companies in Europe in June 2017 and resulted in large financial losses. The service was also accused of two cyber attacks against Ukraine’s power grid in 2015 and 2016.

Brussels also targeted firms from North Korea and China over the same claim, with both countries rejecting any involvement in the cyber attacks.

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