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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (R) speaks during a meeting with his deputies outside Moscow, Russia April 9, 2018. Sputnik/Alexander Astafyev/Pool via REUTERS

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Monday ordered his government to draw up possible retaliatory steps after the United States on Friday imposed new sanctions on Moscow, the Interfax news agency reported.

Medvedev called the new U.S. sanctions unacceptable and illegitimate, saying Russia reserves the right to respond, Interfax reported.

Medevedev also ordered the government to draw up a plan to support entities included on the U.S. sanctions list, the news agency said.

The United States imposed major sanctions on Friday against Russian businessmen, companies and government officials, striking at allies of President Vladimir Putin in one of Washington's most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for its alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and other "malign activity."

(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Toby Chopra)

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Reuters