The United States, yesterday, imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia to punish it for alleged interference in the 2020 US election, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other ‘malign’ acts.
The measures blacklisted Russian companies, expelled Russian diplomats and placed limits on the Russian sovereign debt market. More penalties could come, although Washington did not want to escalate matters, the Biden administration said.
Moscow reacted angrily, saying this dangerously raised the temperature between the two countries. It summoned the US ambassador for what it said would be a tough conversation.
Russia denies meddling in US elections and orchestrating a cyber hack that used US tech company, SolarWinds Corp SWI.N, to penetrate US government networks. It also denies using a nerve agent to poison Kremlin critic, Alexei Navalny. It has brushed off allegations that it put bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan.
Among the actions, President Joe Biden issue an executive order authorising the US sector of the Russian economy and used it to restrict Russia’s ability to issue sovereign debt to punish Moscow for interfering in the 2020 US election, an allegation Russia denies.
The White House said it was expelling 10 Russian diplomats in Washington D.C., including representatives of the Russian intelligence services and for the first time, formally named the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service as the perpetrator of the SolarWinds Corp (SWI.N) hack.
Biden barred US financial institutions from taking part in the primary market for rouble-denominated Russian sovereign bonds from June 14. US banks have been barred from taking part in the primary market for non-rouble sovereign bonds since 2019.
The US treasury also blacklisted 32 entities and individuals which, it said, had carried out Russian government-directed attempts to influence the 2020 US presidential election and other “acts of disinformation and interference.”
In concert with the European Union, Britain, Australia and Canada, the treasury also sanctioned eight individuals associated with Russia’s ongoing occupation and repression in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
Russia’s foreign ministry spokeswoman said Moscow would respond to the sanctions in the near future.