Trump and Putin discuss in Vietnam (photo: Reuters)

The US Treasury Department has imposed fresh sanctions on five Russian entities and three individuals in an effort to conduct cyberattacks against the US.

The latest step by the Trump administration comes in response to “Russia’s malign and destabilizing cyber activities” against the US and its allies, including the NotPetya cyberattack and cyber intrusions of the US energy grid, Treasury said, and includes a firm that’s controlled by Russia’s Federal Security Service or FSB.

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“The United States is engaged in an ongoing effort to counter malicious actors working at the behest of the Russian Federation and its military and intelligence units to increase Russia’s offensive cyber capabilities,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement on Monday.

The sanctions come as President Donald Trump sends radically different signals about Russia’s place in the world order, underscoring the administration’s contradictory messages on Russia.

Just days before Treasury announced the new sanctions, Trump insisted that Russia be returned to the international group of advanced economic nations that met in Canada at the weekend.