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 US sanctions Russia, expels diplomats over alleged election interference, cyber hack

16/04/2021 09:09 AM

WASHINGTON, April 16  -- The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions against Russia and expelled 10 diplomats in response to Moscow's alleged election interference and cyber activities, reported Xinhua.

The White House said in a statement that President Joe Biden had signed a new sanctions executive order against Russia.

According to the order, the US Department of the Treasury issued a directive that prohibits US financial institutions from participation in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021, by Russia's central bank, the national wealth fund, or finance ministry.

The Treasury also designated six Russian technology companies that "provide support to the Russian Intelligence Services' cyber programme," and 32 entities and individuals related to the 2020 US presidential election interference, the statement said.

In addition, the Treasury, together with the European Union, Britain, Australia, and Canada, blacklisted eight individuals and entities over the Crimea issue.

The United States is expelling 10 personnel from the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington D.C., the statement added, saying the personnel "include representatives of Russian intelligence services."

The statement also accused the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service of carrying out the alleged SolarWinds hack last year.

These measures came days after Biden warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a phone call that the United States will "act firmly in defence of its national interests in response to Russia's actions, such as cyber intrusions and election interference."

The Kremlin repeatedly said that claims of Russia's alleged meddling in the 2020 US elections were baseless and regretful, calling them a pretext for additional sanctions.

Relations between Washington and Moscow have been adversarial for recent years. The two were bitterly divided over Ukraine, Syria, and cybersecurity issues, and they mutually accused the other of domestic political interference.




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