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Two Canadian firms included in US sanctions list for alleged support to Russia

By Kanishka Singh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States' list of recently sanctioned entities for alleged support for Russia's war effort in Ukraine includes two Canadian companies, U.S. and Canadian authorities said on Monday.

The two electronics distribution companies from Montreal - Cpunto Inc and Electronic Network Inc - were listed for "acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States" and are subject to U.S. export restrictions, according to the U.S. Commerce Department.

The U.S. government on Thursday called on companies to ensure they comply with Russia-related sanctions imposed after Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, warning that a failure to do so could lead to potential prosecution or enforcement actions.

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The Commerce Department recently imposed export curbs on nearly 90 Russian and third-country companies and prohibited them from buying items such as semiconductors.

The Canada Border Services Agency said the two sanctioned companies were identified as part of a "global effort" to support Russia and that it worked with the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security to restrict Russian access to technologies.

The Commerce Department list did not mention what the two firms shipped or attempted to ship that triggered U.S. action.

Alexander Yermukov, a director at Cpunto, told CBC News his firm took this matter "very seriously, as we have always been acting in good faith without intention to defraud, deceive or in any way act maliciously". He added the company intended to engage further to address the concerns but could not comment on any specifics at this point.

The two companies did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Washington; Editing by Tomasz Janowski and Himani Sarkar)