(Washington) After extended, counterattack: The US government, Joe Biden, on Thursday announced a series of harsh financial sanctions against Russia and the expulsion of ten Russian diplomats, which could complicate the proposal for a summit with Vladimir Putin.
Depuis son arrivée à la Maison-Blanche, le nouveau président des États-Unis avait fait savoir qu’il mettait au point sa riposte contre une série d’actes imputés à Moscou, dont une cyberattaque géante et de nouvelles ingainences amans éante et de nouvelles ingainences amans éante last year. He promised to be more assertive than his predecessor, Donald Trump, who is accused on all sides of complaining about his counterpart in the Kremlin.
Reprisals fell on Thursday and are severe.
46e The president of American history signed a decree followed by sanctions, which would allow Russia to be punished again, so that “strategic and economic consequences” would occur, “if it continues or is encouraged to escalate its actions to destabilize international stability,” and warned the White House in a statement.
As part of this decree, the US Treasury Department banned US financial institutions from directly purchasing debt issued by Russia after June 14.
It also imposed sanctions on six Russian technology companies accused of supporting Moscow’s electronic intelligence activities.
It is a response to a massive 2020 cyber attack that has used SolarWinds, a US software publisher whose product has been hacked, to insert a vulnerability among its users, including several US federal agencies. The Biden administration officially accuses Russia of being responsible for this attack, as previously indicated.
In addition, the Treasury is imposing sanctions on 32 entities and individuals accused of trying, on behalf of the Russian government, to “influence the 2020 presidential elections in the United States,” according to the White House.
In partnership with the European Union, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia, the US government also imposes sanctions on eight individuals and entities “linked to the continuing occupation and oppression in the Crimea.”
For its part, the US State Department expelled ten officials from the Russian embassy, some of whom were accused of being members of Moscow’s intelligence services.
All these sanctions also aim to hold the Russian authorities “responsible” after accusations that Russia granted the Taliban to attack American soldiers or foreigners in Afghanistan.
Donald Trump has been stalling in the face of leaks about the accusations. So it is the first time that Washington has gone so far to accuse Moscow of playing a role.
But the White House remains ambiguous at the present time, saying only that this issue “is managed by diplomatic, military and intelligence channels.”
These sanctions come on top of a first series of punitive measures announced in March against seven senior Russian officials in response to the poisoning and imprisonment of opponent Alexei Navalny.
NATO countries immediately expressed their “support and solidarity” with the United States “after announcing measures to respond to Russia’s destabilizing activities.”
He summoned the United States ambassador
It was one of the most difficult attacks against Russia since many diplomats were expelled at the end of Barack Obama’s term.
And the answer was not long ago.
“Such aggressive behavior will be strongly rejected.” Russian diplomat Maria Zakharova warned, “The response to sanctions will be inevitable.”
The authorities summoned the US ambassador in Moscow for a “difficult conversation”.
“The United States is not ready to accept the objective reality of a multi-polar world that excludes US hegemony and depends on sanctions pressure and interference in our internal affairs,” the spokesman expressed his regret.
Russia had already warned that adopting new sanctions “would not be in the interest of” organizing the Biden-Putin summit, which is supposed to begin to stabilize the harmful relations between the two geopolitical rivals.
Thus, the Kremlin appears to be disappointed after it expressed its satisfaction at the possibility of holding such a summit, which the new democratic president has proposed in “a third country” and “in the coming months.” The offer came during a phone conversation this week between the two leaders, which was also marked by an American warning after the massive deployment of Russian forces on the Ukrainian border.
The most dramatic debt measure announced Thursday is expected to have a limited impact, as Russia has limited debt and reserves exceeding $ 180 billion, backed by its hydrocarbon exports. However, it could be painful for the ruble, in the fall of Thursday, and it is already in difficulty since the first sanctions were adopted in 2014.
“It is a storm in a glass of water. For more than ten years, the Russian monetary authorities’ policy aims to keep the budget deficit at a low level, stressing that Moscow is ready for this” for a “long period”, economist Sergei Khostanov told AFP.
Since January and the arrival of the new American president to power, relations between Moscow and Washington have deteriorated rapidly. Thus, the Russian ambassador to the United States was summoned after Joe Biden considered his counterpart a “murderer.”