Monday, 18 October, 2021


Months After Hack, US Poised to Announce Sanctions on Russian Federation

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Noah Ferguson | 17 April, 2021, 00:20

Russian Federation denies all the allegations. The United States warned Russian Federation that more penalties were possible but said it did not want to escalate.

She said the ministry has summoned the US ambassador for a "hard conversation", but wouldn't immediately say what action Russian Federation will take.

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

The restrictions represent the first USA measures against Russian Federation for the SolarWinds hacking operation. State Department officials have called USA allies and are preparing for potential Russian responses.

The Biden administration is preparing to announce sanctions in response to a massive Russian hacking campaign that breached vital federal agencies, as well as for election interference, a senior administration official said Wednesday night. Other measures are expected as Biden gave an executive order permitting the USA government to sanction any part of the Russian economy.

But, he added, "where possible, the United States will also seek opportunities for co-operation with Russian Federation, with the goal of building a more stable and predictable relationship consistent with US interests".

The ministry said the officials had "participated in the anti-Russian push" of U.S. politics.

The White House also said it would respond to reports Russian Federation had offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill USA soldiers in Afghanistan.

"Russia's consent would be interpreted as a reflection of its desire to soften the sanctions, allowing the U.S.to secure a dominant position at the meeting, while our refusal to meet would be a convenient pretext for more punitive measures", Kosachev wrote on Facebook.

Andrew Weiss, a Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank analyst, was sceptical the U.S. sanctions would change a "largely competitive and adversarial relationship" in the short term or deter Russian Federation in the long term.

Biden urged Putin this week in their second call to "de-escalate tensions" following a Russian military buildup on Ukraine's border, and said the USA would "act firmly in defence of its national interests" regarding Russian intrusions and election interference.

Ties then hit rock bottom last month after Biden, who promised to take a firmer line on Moscow than his predecessor Donald Trump, agreed with a description of Putin as a "killer".

It was not immediately clear what, if any, other actions might be planned.

Sullivan said Biden and Putin "were direct with one another, they understood one another" during their phone call on Tuesday. Putin later recalled his ambassador to the USA and pointed to US history, including slavery and the atomic bombing of Japan in the Second World War.

The Kremlin has denied interfering in USA presidential elections or of any involvement in the SolarWind hack.

"The Russian market felt some relief", the Renaissance Capital investment bank said in an analyst note Friday, because the sanctions were "moderate".

US officials are still grappling with the aftereffects 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.

While the new USA sanctions further limited Russia's ability to borrow money by banning US financial institutions from buying Russian government bonds directly from state institutions, they didn't target the secondary market.

The actions announced Thursday include economic measures, or sanctions, on six Russian companies that support the country's hacking activities.

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