aThe US government expelled ten Russian diplomats in response to a piracy attack blamed on Moscow. On Thursday, the White House said there were also five Russian intelligence service employees among the diplomats from representation in Washington. In addition, many people and organizations are subject to sanctions. The White House said that US banks will also be banned from trading the new Russian national debt, which will be issued from mid-June.
Six Russian technology companies that support the Russian intelligence services are subject to sanctions. In addition, the White House said 32 people and organizations who tried to influence the US elections would be punished by order of Moscow.
Eight other people or companies, in consultation with the Allies, including the European Union, will be sanctioned for Russia’s continued occupation of Crimea. The transatlantic community stands united on Ukraine and calls on Russia to stop the recent deployment of forces along the border and stop its aggressive rhetoric.
Biden proposes meetings to Putin
The National Security Adviser to US President Joe Biden, Jake Sullivan, had previously said in an interview with CNN radio that the goal is “to provide a meaningful and credible answer, but not to let the situation escalate.” He said that these are “appropriate” measures to defend US interests. Sullivan said the United States and Russia, despite their differences, could work together on various issues, such as disarmament issues, and have a “stable and predictable relationship.” “We can find a path that does not create a cycle of confrontation,” Sullivan told CNN.
Among other things, the sanctions are aimed at avenging a massive hacker attack on government departments, agencies and companies in the United States, which US security agencies suspect Russia is behind. The attackers gained access to the networks using SolarWinds maintenance software, which was used in many places and remained undetected for several months. The case, which became known in December, was an embarrassing setback for the US security services.
The US government is also imposing measures on a grant allegedly provided by Russia to US soldiers in Afghanistan. The White House said that these sanctions will only be reported through military and diplomatic channels and through secret services.
Biden suggested a meeting to Putin in a conversation on Tuesday. This offer remains open, Sullivan said. Sullivan told CNN that Biden believes that the relationship between the two countries is in “a very difficult situation in which we face the risk of a downward spiral.” Therefore, Biden and Putin should meet to discuss the differences together and determine a way forward.