Saturday, 31 July, 2021


United States set to slap new sanctions on Russian Federation as soon as Thursday

US set to slap new sanctions on Russian officials as soon as Thursday - Sources US poised to sanction Russia for cyber-attacks
Hannah Rogers | 15 April, 2021, 15:39

The action is also in response to election interference, a senior administration official said on Wednesday night.

The move would be retaliation for cyber-attacks aimed at the USA, including alleged interference in the 2020 presidential elections.

The sanctions are expected to target more than 30 Russian entities and include the expulsion of at least 10 Russian individuals from the United States, including intelligence officials and diplomats, according to sources briefed on the matter.

The sanctions would be part of a set of responses by the USA government to a cyber security breach, which was identified in December and that the United States government has said was likely orchestrated by Russian Federation, affecting software made by Solar Winds Corp, and giving hackers access to thousands of companies and government offices that used its products.

The new sanctions come just after Biden in a phone call with Putin on Tuesday invited him to hold a summit on neutral ground, after tensions between the West and Russian Federation escalated in recent weeks over the conflict in Ukraine.

The administration is also expected to issue an executive order barring USA financial institutions from purchasing ruble-denominated bonds beginning in June of 2021, sources told CBS.

Russian Federation did not want relations with Washington to be a case of "one step forward and two steps back", he added.

Last year, cyber-security researchers identified a hack in a piece of software called SolarWinds - an intrusion that gave cyber-criminals access to 18,000 government and private computer networks.

The expected moves by the Biden administration are likely to exacerbate tensions in a relationship that slumped to a new post-Cold War low last month after Biden said he thought Putin was a "killer". He said the days of the U.S "rolling over" to Putin were done.

Russian Federation has denied carrying out the attack.

In their call on Tuesday, Biden and Putin had said they would "continue dialogue", after ties plummeted when the United States president caused an uproar in Moscow last month by agreeing with a description of his Russian counterpart as a "killer".

U.S. 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.

Microsoft President Brad Smith in February told "60 Minutes" that the SolarWinds hack was, "the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen".

The US has also publicly warned Russian Federation against aggressive actions in Ukraine.

A Russian troop build-up on the border with Ukraine - where government forces have been fighting pro-Russia separatists since 2014 - in recent weeks had sparked alarm in the West and warnings from North Atlantic Treaty Organisation. "That is unambiguous", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, referring to the summit.

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