Published: Thu, April 15, 2021

Russia: Foreign Office summons Russian ambassador

Russia: Foreign Office summons Russian ambassador

The wider sanctions forbid USA financial institutions from taking part in the market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds, or lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to Russia's Central Bank, National Wealth Fund or Ministry of Finance; sanction 32 entities and individuals thought to be involved in attempts to throw the controversial 2020 U.S. presidential election off course, and eight individuals and entities associated with Russia's attacks on Ukraine and continued illegal occupation of Crimea; and expel 10 intelligence operatives from Russia's Washington DC embassy.

In an executive order, Biden widened restrictions on USA banks trading in Russian government debt, expelled 10 diplomats who include alleged spies, and sanctioned 32 individuals accused of meddling in the 2020 presidential election.

As has always been anticipated, USA president Joe Biden has today (15 April) signed an executive order imposing fresh sanctions on Russia over a pattern of malicious cyber attacks against the U.S. and allies, including the December 2020 SolarWinds attacks, which it has now formally attributed to the Russian state-backed APT29, or Cosy Bear.

For the first time, the USA government named the Russian foreign intelligence service, the SVR, as the organizer of the attack. The Obama administration expelled diplomats from the U.S. in 2016 in response to interference in that years presidential election.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the sanctions would "serve to reduce Russian resources available to carry out similar malign activities".

The Treasury Department sanctioned 32 organizations and individuals for their alleged influence operations aimed at the US election.

In addition, Treasury Department targeted Russia's sovereign wealth, prohibiting USA financial institutions from certain dealings with Russian sovereign debt.

A combination of photos of US President Joe Biden on 15 March 2021 and Russian President Vladimir Putin on 6 March 2020.

"When he spoke to him this week", Sullivan told reporters, "he said, 'I told you that I was going to look into this, I made a determination that Russian Federation has, in fact, conducted these actions, and I'm a man of my word, I am ready to respond, but I'm not looking to escalate".

The Biden administration issued new sanctions against Russian Federation on Thursday. "I'm looking to provide proportionate responses, and I believe that it is in our interest to find a stable and predictable way forward in this relationship'".

Biden was scheduled to deliver remarks on his Russian Federation policy at 4:30 pm (2030 GMT), the White House said.

In that context, Sullivan noted, Biden had proposed he and Putin meet in person in the coming months. Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said Thursday that the USA ambassador to Moscow had been summoned in response to the sanctions. The White House announced that summit proposal earlier this week.

"Such aggressive behavior, without question, will receive a decisive push back, a response to the sanctions is unavoidable", she said.

Also Thursday, U.S. government agencies issued an alert aimed at the private sector, saying that the SVR was exploiting five vulnerabilities to target U.S. companies.

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