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"Ship-to-ship transfers with North Korea-flagged vessels from Russian Federation or elsewhere of any goods being supplied, sold, or transferred to or from the DPRK are prohibited under the U.N. Security Council resolutions on North Korea and are sanctionable under USA law", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Her observation came in response to the recent announcement by U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Non-Proliferation Christopher Ford that Washington is ready to impose new sanctions on Russian Federation for its alleged interference in the 2016 elections.

The June sanctions were a response to cyberattacks, including last year's NotPetya attack, as well as intrusions into the US energy grid and global network infrastructure.

The two companies targeted in Tuesday's action were Vela-Marine and Lacno S.R.O., which is based in Slovakia. That company was sanctioned in June for procuring underwater equipment and diving systems for Russian government agencies, including the Federal Security Service, formerly Russia's KGB spy service.

The Department of the Treasury announced that the sanctions target persons involved in the banned ship-to-ship transfer of refined petroleum products to North Korea-flagged vessels. The oil buyer was North Korean company Taesong Bank, which is also subject to United States and United Nations sanctions.

It described Office 39 as engaging in "illicit economic activities for (the) North Korean leadership".

The Obama administration sanctioned the FSB in December 2016, citing the Russian government's aggressive harassment of USA officials and cyber operations aimed at the 2016 US presidential election. The sanctions were aimed at preventing North Korea and others from evading global prohibitions on trade through various methods, including ship-to-ship transfers outside of ports. For the first - punished two Russian shipping company and owned six ships.

Speaking before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Mandelker said that "though Russia's malign activities continue, we believe its adventurism undoubtedly has been checked by the knowledge that we can bring much more economic pain to bear using our powerful range of authorities - and that we will not hesitate to do so if its conduct does not demonstrably and significantly change".

"And today, the United Kingdom asks its allies to go further by calling on the European Union to ensure its sanctions against Russian Federation are comprehensive, and that we truly stand shoulder to shoulder with the US". The British Embassy previewed his speech on Monday. The presidential office reported that the parties discussed the conflict in Ukraine, the situation in Syria and relations between Europe, the USA and Russian Federation.