Biden White House unveils new sanctions in response to Russian aggression

Biden White House unveils new sanctions in response to Russian aggression

The U.S. and United Kingdom on Thursday formally attributed the supply chain attack of IT infrastructure management company SolarWinds with "high confidence" to government operatives working for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR).

The White House announced a series of sanctions against Russian Federation on Thursday in response to a massive hacking campaign that breached vital federal agencies, as well as for election interference. According to the Treasury Department, Positive Technologies may appear to be a regular IT firm, but it actually supports Russian government clients, including the Federal Security Service.

Commenting on Biden's proposal for a meeting between the two leaders in a third country, Peskov said it would "take some time to analyze the proposal".

"The latest round of US sanctions was a mostly symbolic exercise", Agathe Demarais, global forecasting director at The Economist Intelligence Unit, told CNBC on Friday.

The administration announced sanctions against Russian officials over Navalny last month but has so far held off on action in the other three areas.

The Russian diplomats who are being expelled are based in Washington, DC, and NY, and they will have 30 days to leave the country, the US official familiar with the plans explained. Those revelations are an attempt to kneecap active cyberattack campaigns. Eight have ties to Russia's occupation of Crimea. The breach exposed vulnerabilities in the supply chain as well as weaknesses in the federal governments own cyber defenses.

Russian Federation denies meddling in USA elections, orchestrating a cyber hack to penetrate U.S. government networks.

Sullivan said Biden and Putin "were direct with one another, they understood one another" during their phone call on Tuesday.

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"The scope and scale of this compromise combined with Russia's history of carrying out reckless and disruptive cyber operations makes it a national security concern", the Treasury Department said.

The sanctions announcement covers six Russian tech sector entities in all. The Biden administration also formally attributed the SolarWinds breach to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service.

Pasit, an IT company, and SVA, a research institute, have also worked on behalf of the Russian government's hacking operations by conducting research for SVR in particular, according to the Treasury. This includes, in particular, efforts to undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections and democratic institutions in the United States and its allies and partners; engage in and facilitate malicious cyber activities against the United States and its allies and partners; foster and use transnational corruption to influence foreign governments; pursue extraterritorial activities targeting dissidents or journalists; undermine security in countries and regions important to United States national security; and violate well-established principles of global law, including respect for the territorial integrity of states.

The Biden administration's actions are expected to hit Russian Federation from multiple angles.

The sanctions also target Moscow's ability to borrow money by prohibiting USA financial institutions from buying Russian bonds directly from Russian institutions.

Among the individual companies sanctioned were websites that USA officials say operate as fronts for Russian intelligence agencies and spread disinformation, including articles alleging widespread voter fraud in 2020. The Treasury Department also released details about specific entities associated with the Kremlin's disinformation campaigns overseas.

The sanctions target Russia's ability to borrow money by banning USA businesses from buying Russian bonds directly from Russia.

Facebook has previously taken down posts linked to SouthFront and NewsFront, which it said was part of a broader network of spreading misinformation run by "individuals in Russia" and the Donbass region in Ukraine.

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