Thursday, 05 December, 2019


Moscow to Expand US 'Black List' in Response to Sanctions

Bennie Garza | 18 March, 2018, 00:48

Moscow would respond to a new set of United States sanctions by expanding its "black list" of Americans, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said.

The accusations that Russia was behind the cyberattacks on USA infrastructure came as the Trump administration targeted Russians with sanctions for alleged election meddling for the first time since President Donald Trump took office. "We reaffirm that our resolve will not be weakened by any intrigues of opponents, many of whom are beyond the Atlantic Ocean", he stressed.

Also on Thursday, the US government announced new sanctions against Russia following the indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian companies accused of interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign to help get Donald Trump elected.

With the United States under pressure to act, the steps announced by the U.S. Treasury Department represented the most significant taken against Moscow since Trump assumed office in January 2017. These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russian Federation.

"The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyberactivity, including their attempted interference in USA elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure", said Mnuchin said. "So, President Trump, are you going to get smart about the threat Russian Federation poses to the United States and our allies?"

The U.S. government has helped energy businesses kick out the Russians from all systems now known to have been penetrated, according to the officials.

The Treasury Department announced the sanctions amid withering criticism of Trump and his administration for failing to use its congressionally mandated authority to punish Russian Federation. He said others would face punishment in the future under the new sanctions law "to hold Russian government officials and oligarchs accountable for their destabilizing activities".

According to the alert, the Russian government is behind a number of cyberattacks and breaches that actively targeted U.S. government agencies and critical energy, nuclear, commercial facilities, water, aviation and manufacturing sectors.

A senior administration told reporters on a conference call that Russian actors infiltrated parts of the USA energy sector.

"After obtaining access, the Russian government cyber actors conducted network reconnaissance, moved laterally and collected information pertaining to industrial control systems", reads the report. Trump called it "something that should never, ever happen, and we're taking it very seriously, as I think are many others".

"It is tied to USA internal disorder, tied of course to our electoral calendar", Ryabkov was quoted as saying by the Russian state news agency Tass.

"We are still waiting for President Trump to direct our intelligence agencies and the State Department to use the resources we've provided them to combat Russian cyberattacks", Schumer said.

USA cybersecurity official Rick Driggers told reporters on March 15, 2018, that the Russian breaches of US critical infrastructure thus far have been limited to business networks and have not affected any plant's control systems.

"I'm not anxious by this", Prigozhin was quoted as saying.

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