Russia was hit with sweeping sanctions, including penalties on 32 organisations and individuals by the Biden administration on Thursday.
CAPE TOWN, April 15 (ANA) – Russia was hit with sweeping sanctions by the Biden administration on Thursday, in retaliation for its alleged meddling in the 2020 US presidency, the SolarWinds cyberattack, and its continued occupation and “serious human rights violations” in Crimea, according to CNN.
President Joe Biden of the United States (US) has signed an executive order imposing a slew of new sanctions on Russia and expelling ten diplomats from the country.
The new measures, imposed by Biden, include penalties on 32 organisations and individuals.
In what US officials suspect was an intelligence-gathering activity on mining government secrets, Russian hackers corrupted commonly used software with malicious code, allowing them to penetrate at least nine agencies’ networks, reported CNN.
According to Al Jazeera, the hacking effort compromised key federal institutions.
The sanctions are intended to stifle lending to Russia’s government, which has previously failed in the past.
The sanctions were announced a day after US secretary of state Antony Blinken voiced intense concern about Russia’s military buildup along Ukraine’s border, speaking on behalf of the US and its NATO allies.
The sanctions were imposed two days after the US intelligence community stated in an annual report that Russia “poses one of the most important intelligence threats to the US.”
On CNN’s “New Day,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Biden was trying to find a balance in his reaction to Russian violence, saying he had to “provide a significant and credible response, but not escalate the situation.”
“Our objective here is not to escalate, our objective here is to impose costs for what we feel are unacceptable actions by the Russian government,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Thursday.
Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said a response was “inevitable,” but did not say what it would entail.
“Such aggressive behaviour will of course receive a decisive response…“In Washington, they should know there will be a cost for the degradation of bilateral relations. Responsibility for what is happening lies wholly with the United States.” Zakharova said.
African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Naomi Mackay
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