Biden ‘prepares’ new sanctions against Putin’s inner circle after completing investigation into Russia’s SolarWinds hack, ‘bounties’ for US troops and repeated interference in the election
- The government could impose additional sanctions or even expel Russian intelligence officers
- Immediately after taking office, President Biden ordered a security investigation into Russia
- Barack Obama has imposed sanctions on Russia in the last days of his administration
- Donald Trump repeatedly sought closer ties with Russia
- Congress and his government continued to sanction Moscow
- According to US intelligence, Russia again interfered in elections
The Biden administration has completed its security investigation of Russia after a series of efforts against US interests – and potential new sanctions are being prepared for close associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Biden ordered the review on his first day of work, and the White House has said it would focus on four problematic areas – including Russian electoral interference and the Solarwinds hack of US government agencies and companies whose scope is still understood.
With the completion of the review, Bloomberg News reported, the government could impose additional sanctions or even expel Russian intelligence officers it identified.
Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend a meeting via video conference on Wednesday, April 7, 2021, in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. The Biden government has reportedly completed its security investigation and new sanctions are possible
The US hit sanctions on Russia and kicked closed Russian security complexes in the closing days of the Obama administration in response to Russian electoral interference in the 2016 presidential election.
Possible measures could include sanctions and the expulsion of Russian intelligence officers in the US under diplomatic cover, the people said, asking not to be identified during private deliberations. Senior officials were due to meet on Wednesday to discuss steps to take.
The sanctions could include attempts to select people away from Russian President Vladimir Putin and agencies “ related to electoral interference, ” the report said, although that has proven difficult in the past.
According to a White House spokesperson, “We are not going to comment on internal policy discussions or meetings. From his first phone call to President Putin, President Biden has made it clear that the United States will respond to a number of destabilizing Russian actions, in a way and at a time of our choosing. ‘
The director of the national intelligence agency ruled in a report released last month that Putin authorized “influence operations” to belittle Joe Biden when he ran for president. Biden ordered the review when he took office
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday the White House was ‘troubled’ by reports of opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s condition in prison
One area the review is exploring are reports that Russia has provided “ bounties ” for killing US troops in Afghanistan. Moscow denied the charges
The review included hacking solar winds that officials said compromised a range of federal agency computer systems
Many top Russian officials and oligarchs have already donated money to avoid the impact of US sanctions, and the US has already imposed sanctions, as well as charges against Russian individuals and entities related to election hacking.
Putin last month backed a constitutional change that would allow him to remain in office until 2036.
The government’s evaluation focused on hacking, election interference, reports that Russia was offering “ bounties ” for killing US troops in Afghanistan, and the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Navalny is on hunger strike. He was detained when he returned to Russia in January after fleeing the country to Germany after being poisoned with the chemical Novichok. Amnesty International said Russian authorities could slowly kill Navalny in prison under conditions amounting to torture.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the White House was “ troubled ” by reports of Navalny’s condition in prison, following proceedings that the US said were unfair.
‘We urge the Russian authorities to take all necessary measures to ensure his safety and health. While he is in prison, the Russian government is responsible for his health and well-being, ”said Psaki.
“We stand behind like-minded allies and partners and call for his immediate release and for an end to the persecution of his supporters,” she said, calling his imprisonment “politically motivated.”
The director of the national intelligence agency, in a report released last month, assessed that Putin authorized “influence operations” to belittle Joe Biden when he ran for president.
The US and Russia got into another diplomatic row after Biden said he considered Putin a ‘murderer’ when asked by ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. Nonetheless, Putin plans to attend Biden’s virtual climate summit this month.