The United States is holding Russia to account for actions taken against U.S. sovereignty and interests, in particular for attempts to interfere in the 2020 American presidential election and for cyber intrusions targeting federal agencies and U.S. companies.
The United States is imposing costs on Russia through a variety of measures. Among them, the Treasury Department sanctioned six Russian technology companies that provided support to the Russian Intelligence Services’ cyber efforts. The U.S. government publicly named the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service, known as the SVR, as the perpetrator of the cyber espionage campaign that exploited the SolarWinds Orion platform and other information technology infrastructures. That intrusion gave the SVR the ability to spy on or potentially disrupt more than 16,000 computer systems worldwide.
The Treasury Department also sanctioned 32 entities and individuals carrying out Russian government-directed attempts to interfere in the 2020 U.S. presidential election, and other acts of disinformation. In addition, the Treasury Department issued a directive that prohibits U.S. banks from new purchases of ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds from Russia’s central bank, Finance Ministry or national wealth fund after June 14, 2021.
Furthermore, the State Department announced that it is expelling 10 officials from the Russian diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C., some of whom are representatives of Russian intelligence services.
President Joe Biden called the U.S. response to the malign actions of the Russian government “measured and proportionate.”
“The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship… Throughout our long history of competition, our two countries have been able to find ways to manage tensions and to keep them from escalating out of control.”
President Biden noted how at the beginning of his administration the United States and Russia worked together to quickly extend the new START Treaty, which helps maintain nuclear stability between the two countries. He announced that in a recent phone conversation with President Putin he proposed a summit in Europe between the two leaders this summer so they can personally work toward a more effective relationship.
“Now is the time to de-escalate. The way forward is through thoughtful dialogue and a diplomatic process.”
“Where it is in the interest of the United States to work with Russia, we should and will,” said President Biden. “Where Russia seeks to violate the interests of the United States, we will respond.”