U.S. expels Russian diplomats imposes new round of sanctions

Lawrence Kim
April 15, 2021

State Department officials have called US allies and are preparing for potential Russian responses.

This official said the executive order authorized the USA government "to target any sector of the Russian economy", adding "we will not hesitate to expand the Russian sovereign debt sanction if Russia escalates further".

Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures while speaking to employees of the Almazov National Medical Center in St.Petersburg, Russia, Friday, March 16, 2018.

Another source familiar tells CNN that the administration is expected to take measures against Russian Federation on Thursday and is coordinating with European allies.

A fact sheet released by the White House on Thursday morning said, "The Biden administration has been clear that the United States desires a relationship with Russian Federation that is stable and predictable".

According to the White House, the latest sanctions target more than 30 Russian entities and individuals it says are involved in election meddling.

While some private-sector analysts have wondered how the alleged SVR operation differs from traditional cyber-espionage, the White House made the case Thursday that the scope of the hacking is a "national security and public safety concern" and that "it places an undue burden on the mostly private sector victims who must bear the unusually high cost of mitigating this incident".

The action is also in response to election interference, a senior administration official said on Wednesday night. Trump disputed the legitimacy of intelligence reports that Russian Federation may have been offering bounties to Taliban fighters.

"Washington should realize that it will have to pay a price for the degradation of the bilateral ties", Zakharova said, adding that "the responsibility for that will fully lie with the United States".

"We believe that altogether, both the actions we are taking today and that broader diplomacy, can produce a better set of outcomes for U.S. -Russia relations", Sullivan said.

The measures are meant to send a clear retributive message to Russian Federation and to deter similar acts in the future. He said the days of the U.S.

It came on the same day the United States announced sanctions and the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says was the Kremlin's USA election interference, a massive cyber attack and other hostile activity.

"Russia needs to cease its provocations and de-escalate tensions in line with its global obligations".

The series of USA statements on Russian cyber-operations had other revelations: The Treasury Department formally linked Russia's FSB intelligence agency with a ransomware gang known as EvilCorp.

In a television interview last month, Biden replied "I do" when asked if he thought Putin was a "killer". Putin later recalled his ambassador to the US and pointed to USA history, including slavery and the atomic bombing of Japan in the Second World War. "However, we have also been clear - publicly and privately -that we will defend our national interests and impose costs for Russian Government actions that seek to harm us".

USA officials are still grappling with the after effects of the SolarWinds intrusion which affected agencies including the Treasury Justice Energy and Homeland Security departments and are still assessing what information may have been stolen.

For its part, the United Kingdom government's National Cyber Security Centre said Thursday that it was "highly likely" that the SVR was behind the SolarWinds breaches.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, speaking with CNN on Thursday, said that Biden is imposing the sanctions on Russian Federation over the recent SolarWinds hack and election interference. Last month, the USA sanctioned seven mid-level and senior Russian officials, along with more than a dozen government entities, over a almost fatal nerve-agent attack on opposition leader Alexei Navalny and his subsequent jailing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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