U.S. imposes sanctions on Russia over malign actions

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The U.S. has announced a broad array of sanctions against Russia in response to the latter interfering in last year’s U.S. election, cyber-attacks, browbeating Ukraine, and other alleged malign actions.

The measures, which target Russian officials and entities, are aimed to curb “Russia’s harmful foreign activities”, said the White House in a statement. The statement claims Russian intelligence was the actual force behind last year’s “SolarWinds” hack and accuses it of “massive” interference in the 2020 election.

Russia denied the allegations and said it will respond in kind. The sanctions announced are in the form of a detailed executive order signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday. In a call with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, Mr. Biden expressed his resolve to defend US national interests “at any cost”, while suggesting a meeting with Mr. Putin to seek areas where the two countries could get along.

On Thursday, Mr. Biden said that his choice to impose sanctions on Russia was “very proportionate”. “I was pretty clear with President Putin that we could have gone way further, but I chose not to go that far,” Mr. Biden told reporters. “The U.S. does not look forward to kicking off a loop of escalation and conflict with Russia.”

He maintained that the only way forward is through a “diplomatic process and a thoughtful dialogue”. As per a statement from the White House, the new sanctions will be imposed by the US “in a strategic and financially impactful manner on Russia” if it goes on to continue its “international actions of destabilizing nature”.

The statement affirms the administration’s point of view that the Russian government has been trying to “detrack the conduct of free and fair elections” in the US and allied countries and has been behind various cyber-attacks.

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