US President Joe Biden has signed an executive order deporting 10 Russian diplomats to the US, imposing new sanctions on Russia over alleged interference in last year’s presidential election, and hacking of federal agencies.
According to a report by the American news agency ‘AP‘, these sanctions have also targeted Moscow’s ability to borrow money and now US financial institutions have been prevented from buying bonds directly from Russian institutions.
The administration’s weeks-long crackdown marks the first resistance to the Kremlin’s alleged hacking, known as the Solar Winds Breach.
The interference is believed to have been caused by Russian hackers infecting widely used software with virus-based code that gave them access to US agency networks.
U.S. officials say the bomber struck shortly afternoon in front of a U.S. military base.
In addition to the hack, U.S. officials last month accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of authorizing influential operations to help Donald Trump, who is running for re-election, but failed. There is no evidence that Russia or anyone else changed the vote or changed the outcome.
Russia, however, has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating “Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia’s intelligence have been made more than once.”
The announcement today (April 15th) also includes sanctions on six Russian companies that cooperate in the country’s cyber activities.
In addition to the sanctions, 32 individuals and entities have been banned for spreading misleading information, including interfering in last year’s presidential election.
The United States has also banned eight individuals and entities linked to the Russian occupation of Crimea.
The Biden administration also said the 10 deported diplomats included representatives of the Russian intelligence service.
Other measures are expected from the US administration, but they will not be announced.
Authorities are working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blankenship has said that “these measures are aimed at holding Russia accountable for its actions.”
“We will respond strongly to Russian actions that harm us or our allies and partners,” he said.
At the same time, he said, “where possible, the United States will seek opportunities for cooperation with Russia, with the aim of building a stable relationship in the interests of the United States.”
The White House also said that Biden was using diplomatic, military, and intelligence channels in response to reports that Russia was planning to attack US and coalition forces in Afghanistan based on “the best assessments” of the intelligence community. The Taliban were encouraged to do so.
Following the announcement of the sanctions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova warned that “such aggressive behavior will undoubtedly motivate the determination to retaliate.”
“Washington must realize that it has to pay the price for a bilateral end,” he said.
The State Department spokesman added that “the responsibility lies entirely with the United States.”
He said the State Department had summoned the US ambassador for “tough talks” but would not immediately say what action Russia would take.