U.S. slaps sanctions on Russia over 2020 election interference, SolarWinds hack
Updated: 2021-04-16 07:01:08 KST
A broad wave of sanctions were imposed on Russia Thursday, over its alleged role in interfering in the 2020 U.S. presidential elections, as well as a number of cyberattacks against American government and corporate networks.
President Biden signed the executive order to strengthen his administration's response to Russia.
The U.S. Treasury Department has blacklisted six Russian tech companies that provide support to Moscow's intelligence services.
The Treasury Department also sanctioned 32 entities and individuals over their roles in carrying out "Russian government-directed attempts "to influence the 2020 presidential elections".
Eight other individuals and entities were sanctioned over their roles in Crimea.
The Biden administration is also expelling ten personnel at the Russian embassy in Washington, including members of Russian intelligence services.
According to the White House, the sanctions are also a part of the administration's response to reports that Russia encouraged Taliban attacks against U.S. and coalition personnel in Afghanistan.
Washington reportedly received intelligence reports that Russia offered to pay bounties for dead American troops.
According to the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, on Thursday, EU member states express solidarity with the U.S. over the move.
His statement specifically noted Russia's involvement in cyberattacks.
Borrell says Brussels remains strongly committed and determined in their solidarity with their international partners in promoting a global, open, stable and secure cyberspace.
NATO also backed the U.S. sanctions, condemning Moscow's build-up of Russian troops along Ukraine's border.
In a statement Thursday, it accused Russia of violating Ukraine's sovereignty, as well as interfering in U.S. elections, and engaging in malicious cyber activities.
Moscow vowed to respond to what it called "illegal" sanctions.
Washington's measures are expected to further escalate the already heightened tensions between the world powers.
Lee Seung-jae, Arirang News.