The United States announced sanctions against Russia in response to what it said were cyber attacks and other actions.
The move targeted dozens of Russian entities and officials , aimed at preventing “Russia’s dangerous foreign activity,” the White House said.
The statement said Russian intelligence was behind last year’s massive “SolarWinds” hack, and accused Moscow of meddling in the 2020 elections.
Russia denies all of the accusations and says it will respond in kind.
The sanctions were announced on Thursday (15/4) specified in an executive order signed by President Joe Biden , as quoted from the BBC , Friday (04/16/2021).
Last month the US targeted seven Russian officials and more than a dozen government entities for the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. However, Russia said it was not involved.
In a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, Biden promised to defend US national interests “firmly”, while proposing a meeting with Putin to find areas where the two countries could cooperate.
What did the Biden administration say?
On Thursday, Biden described his decision to impose sanctions on Russia as “proportionate”.
“I made it clear to President Putin that we could go further, but I chose not to,” Biden told reporters.
“The United States does not want to start a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia.”
He added that the way forward was through “prudent dialogue and a diplomatic process”.
A statement from the White House said the new sanctions indicated the US “will impose costs in a strategic way and have an economic impact on Russia.”
This reaffirmed the government’s view that the Russian government was behind cyber attacks and had tried to “undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections” in the US and its allies.
Last December, former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he believed Russia was behind him.
The latest sanctions target 32 entities and officials accused of trying to influence the 2020 US presidential election.
Ten diplomats were expelled. The executive order also prohibits US financial institutions from buying ruble-denominated bonds from June 2021.