(ETH) – The Biden administration has just announced sanctions against dozens of Russian officials and entities, and even expelling 10 diplomats from the U.S., as well as setting new restrictions on buying sovereign debt.
Why? According to the report, these new measures are in direct response to what the Biden Administration is calling “the massive SolarWinds hack” of federal agencies and “interference in the 2020 election”. This comes in the midst of already a tumultuous time with Russia in the middle of a growing conflict with Ukraine.
These new acts of retaliation are directly aimed at imposing heavy economic costs against Russia, after years of sanctions that have failed to deter an increasingly aggressive and authoritarian President Vladimir Putin.
According to Axios: “The administration formally accused Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) of carrying out the SolarWinds hack, which Microsoft President Brad Smith has called “the largest and most sophisticated attack the world has ever seen.” The intelligence community said it has “high confidence” in the assessment”.
“President Biden signed a new sanctions executive order that provides strengthened authorities to demonstrate the Administration’s resolve in responding to and deterring the full scope of Russia’s harmful foreign activities,” the White House said in a news release.
National security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN‘s John Berman on “New Day” that Biden’s ultimate goal is to “provide a significant and credible response, but not escalate the situation.”
Biden also believes that he and Russian President Vladimir Putin should hold a summit “to discuss all of the issues facing our relationship,” Sullivan said. The President says the US and Russia can have a “stable and predictable relationship” and work together on arms control, Sullivan said.
“We believe that all together both the actions we are taking today and that broader diplomacy can produce a better set of outcomes for US-Russia relations,” Sullivan said. So how did Russia and Putin respond to this? “Washington to pay a price for the new sanctions and are fully responsible for it”, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry says.