U.S. imposes sanctions on Moscow, expels 10 Russian diplomats
U.S. imposes sanctions on Moscow, expels 10 Russian diplomats
US set to slap new sanctions on Russian officials as soon as Thursday - Sources
16 April, 2021, 01:37
US President Joe Biden declared in a Thursday White House address that he would have taken more severe action against Russian Federation over their alleged interference in the 2020 election and the SolarWinds hack, but instead opted for a more commensurate response. "It is my responsibility as president of the United States to do so", Biden underscored.
Under the new authorities, the Treasury Departments released a directive prohibiting US financial institutions "from participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021" by Russia's Central Bank, its National Wealth Fund or the Russian Finance Ministry. They were selected on the basis "that they were acting in a manner inconsistent with their status in the United States", a senior official said.
Some experts suggest this latest round might have more resonance because of its financial impact: The order makes it more hard for Russia to borrow money by barring US banks from buying Russian bonds directly from the Russian Central Bank, Russian National Wealth Fund and Finance Ministry.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the ministry had summoned U.S. Ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan.
The White House is announcing the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and announcing a new round of sanctions against Russia.
The U.S. can't be fully confident in the assessment, because "it relies on detainee reporting", and because of the challenging operating environment in Afghanistan, according to the official.
"When President Putin called me in January after I was sworn in to congratulate me, I told him that my administration will be looking very carefully now that we have access to all the data at the issues to assess Russia's role and then determine what response we would make", he added.
"During the 2016 USA presidential election campaign, Kilimnik provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and campaign strategy", the press release stated.
President Biden informed Putin that the sanctions were coming earlier this week.
Among the sanctions to be unveiled are the blacklisting of about 30 entities as well as orders expelling about 10 Russian officials from the United States, one person familiar with the matter said.
Biden believes he and Russian President Vladimir Putin should hold a summit "to discuss all of the issues facing our relationship", Sullivan said. Putin later recalled his ambassador to the United States and pointed at the USA history of slavery and slaughtering Native Americans and the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II.
But it remained unclear whether the actions would actually result in changed behaviour, especially since past measures by the USA have failed to bring an end to Russian hacking.
Dan Fried, a retired U.S. diplomat now at the Atlantic Council think tank, described the step outlined by the U.S. officials as "significant" and markedly stronger than former U.S. President Donald Trump's actions. And though Trump was often reluctant to criticize Putin his administration also expelled diplomats in 2018 for Russian Federation alleged poisoning of an ex-intelligence officer in Britain. 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.
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. The breach exposed vulnerabilities in the supply chain as well as weaknesses in the federal government's own cyber defences.
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Evidence of several industries, including spinning and weaving, metal manufacture and glass-making, was also found. Furthermore, in the north, archaeologists have found a large cemetery that has yet to be fully excavated.
And she said the president will wait for the commission to finish its work before weighing in about the size of the court. The order "directs that the Commission complete its report within 180 days of its first public meeting", it added.
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