The White House announced that President Joe Biden, on Thursday, imposed new sanctions on Russia. Ten Russian diplomats were deported in Washington, DC. NATO supports the imposition of sanctions on Russia.
Sputnik, the Kremlin-controlled news agency, reported Thursday afternoon that the US ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, had been summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry.
“We have repeatedly warned the United States of the consequences of its hostile steps that raise the level of confrontation between our two countries to dangerous levels,” said Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova in a comment. White House Reports said Thursday that President Joe Biden has signed a presidential order imposing sanctions on Russia.
Among the sanctions are the deportation of ten people associated with the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington.
Five of them work for Russian intelligence, according to the White House. In addition, the state imposes sanctions on numerous government officials and agencies in Russia. US banks are not allowed to trade in new Russian government bonds.
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The U.S. Treasury is also imposing sanctions on 32 agencies and individuals it has identified as being involved in carrying out state-sponsored attempts to influence the 2020 presidential election.
Today, the United States responded to Russia’s harmful actions. We will continue to hold Russia accountable for its hostilities, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken wrote Twitter.
A spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the US sanctions would lead to a “inevitable” Russian response.
NATO writes in a press release They support US sanctions against Russia.
On Twitter NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg wrote that “all available evidence indicates that Russia is responsible for the SolarWinds penetration.”
“Russia continues to display a pattern of destabilizing behavior, and all NATO allies are in solidarity with the United States today,” Stoltenberg wrote.
In the press release, NATO wrote that attempts to influence elections in NATO countries, including the US presidential election, spread of false information and malicious internet activity are examples of Russia’s numerous violations of international agreements.
The Allies will continue to work closely together to counter the actions of Russia, which pose a threat to the security of the Euro-Atlantic region.
We support the restrictive measures taken by the European Union against Russia and support a common European approach so that they have the greatest possible impact. Along with other allies, we issued a joint NATO statement, expressing support for the United States and clearly making clear that Russia’s destabilizing actions in a number of areas are unacceptable, says State Secretary Udon Halvorsen.
The new sanctions are the first retaliation against Russia after a hacker attack on US company SolarWinds last year.
“This presidential order sends an indication that the United States will incur costs, both strategic and economic, for Russia if it continues or increases its destabilizing international actions,” the White House said in a statement.
They have also officially designated the Russian State Intelligence Agency as responsible for the major computer attack on SolarWinds.
Norway was affected by the attack
SolarWinds came under attack last year when hackers implanted malicious code into their software. A total of 18,000 of their customers downloaded the current updates, giving hackers access to the systems.
Those affected include the US State Department, the Department of Commerce, the Ministry of Finance, as well as the National Security Agency. In addition, authorities and companies have been affected in a large number of other countries. It remains unclear what kind of information the hackers may have obtained.
The Norwegian Petroleum Fund and several Norwegian companies, including several energy companies, were also affected.
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Kraftcert’s Managing Director Margrete Raaum told Dagens Næringsliv that the vulnerability that comes with the malicious code has not been used against companies.
– They get the back door, but the guys haven’t tried to do anything about it.
Last month, US officials accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of giving a clear indication of operations to influence the US elections.
What was said was an attempt to reelect Donald Trump was unsuccessful, and there is no evidence that Russia or anyone else changed its mind or manipulated the outcome.
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Thursday’s move comes on the heels of Biden’s warning on Tuesday to Putin that the United States will defend its interests. Meanwhile, Putin has called a summit on neutral ground in the near future.
The United States last month imposed sanctions on seven Russian officials and dozens of government agencies in response to the poisoning and imprisonment of regime opponent Alexei Navalny after his return to Russia. Navalny was exposed to Russian nerve gas, and the Russian authorities were accused of being behind the accident. Russia denies the allegations.
Relations between the United States and Russia are currently very tense, and it is not clear if the US actions will change Russian behavior. In the past, the Americans were not successful in ending Russian piracy.
In 2016, former President Barack Obama fired several diplomats after interfering in the elections that year. For successor Donald Trump, the criticism of Putin was long, but Trump also expelled Russian diplomats from the United States. It happened in 2018 after an ex-Russian agent was poisoned in the UK.
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