US Sanctions Russia and Expels 10 Diplomats Over SolarWinds Cyberattack

The White House

The White House

Biden on Thursday described the sanctions as a "measured and proportionate" response to Moscow's hostile actions with the United States and said Washington is "not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict".

In particular, the U.S. Department of the Treasury sanctioned 32 entities and individuals carrying out Russian government-directed attempts to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and other acts of disinformation and interference.

Biden urged Putin this week in their second call to "de-escalate tensions" following a Russian military buildup on Ukraine's border, and said the US would "act firmly in defence of its national interests" regarding Russian intrusions and election interference.

According to the document, the Transatlantic community stands united in supporting Ukraine against unilateral Russian provocations along the Line of Contact in eastern Ukraine, in occupied Crimea, and along Ukraine's borders, as well as agreeing on the need for Russia to immediately cease its military buildup and inflammatory rhetoric.

Last month, US intelligence officials accused Russian Federation of trying to help former president Donald Trump's reelection campaign. The White House did not publicly confirm the reports.

The Russian foreign ministry said John Sullivan, the USA ambassador to Russia, should return home for consultations too.

Moscow's response was mostly tit-for-tat.

In addition, Treasury issued a directive that prohibits US financial institutions from participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and provided authority for the USA government to expand sovereign debt sanctions on Russia as appropriate. He said the days of the U.S.

Attorney General Merrick Garland, Biden's chief domestic policy advisor Susan Rice and Federal Bureau of Investigation chief Christopher Wray would be barred, the foreign ministry said.

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Though Lavrov emphasized Moscow could undertake more "painful measures" in the future, he said it would refrain from doing so at this juncture.

The restrictions represent the first USA measures against Russian Federation for the SolarWinds hacking operation.

Peskov said Putin "has repeatedly said that we are ready to develop our dialogue to the degree that our counterparts are ready for this", he said.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow was mulling its response.

He has also proposed that he and Putin meet for a summit.

"Their views categorically do not coincide when it comes to creating mutually beneficial relations and taking each other's interests into account", Peskov added, however.

He said Putin's decision would be given in the time and manner that Putin saw fit. "There should be no doubt - not a single sanctions "wave" will remain unpunished".

But, he added, "where possible, the United States will also seek opportunities for co-operation with Russian Federation, with the goal of building a more stable and predictable relationship consistent with US interests".

It has also said that it would be hard to quickly organise a Putin-Biden summit.

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