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News > Russia

US Imposes New Sweeping Unilateral Coercive Measures on Russia

  • In a phone conversation with the President of Russia, Joe Biden expressed interest in normalizing Russia-US ties, but the current administration’s actions suggest the opposite.

    In a phone conversation with the President of Russia, Joe Biden expressed interest in normalizing Russia-US ties, but the current administration’s actions suggest the opposite. | Photo: Twitter/@mfa_russia

Published 15 April 2021 (22 hours 38 minutes ago)
Opinion

The U.S. measures are taken due to an alleged Russian interference in its presidential elections.

On Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order by which his country imposes new unilateral restrictive measures on Russia because of alleged "actions by its government and intelligence services against U.S. sovereignty and interests."

The measures include the deportation of 10 employees of the Russian embassy in Washington D.C. and directly affects 16 entities and 16 individuals, which according to the White House, would be related to alleged Russian interference in the framework of the U.S. presidential election in November 2020.

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The U.S. Treasury Department banned U.S. institutions from participating in the primary bond market to be issued from next June 14 by the Central Bank of Russia, the Russian National Welfare Fund, or the Russian Ministry of Finance, as well as from lending funds to these institutions.

"This directive gives the U.S. government the authority to expand sanctions against Russia's sovereign debt for as long as necessary," the White House statement said.

The measure's announcement comes just two days after the presidents of both nations held a telephone conversation and agreed to hold a bilateral meeting in the coming months. 

According to the White House, six other Russian companies are allegedly involved in cyber espionage. According to the statement, these would have provided support to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service program by "assisting in the development of tools and infrastructure for the conduct of malicious cyber activities."

The document adds that the U.S. government will continue to "hold Russia accountable for its malicious cyber activities, such as the SolarWinds incident, by applying all available policies and authorities."

Similarly, the United States imposed sanctions against eight individuals and entities associated with what it calls the "occupation" of the Crimea region, even though more than 90 percent of its population decided in a referendum to reunify with Russia, following a coup in Ukraine in 2014.

For its part, Russia condemned Washington's plan for new unilateral coercive measures and emphasized that they would respond based on reciprocity to ensure their interests better.

Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted in a meeting with the media that his country condemns the sanctions. "We consider them illegal. In any case, the principle of reciprocity in this matter is valid; reciprocity in the form that best serves our interests," he said.

Separately, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S. ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, because of these new pressure measures. According to the Slavic country's Foreign Ministry, Biden's actions are not moving towards normalizing bilateral relations.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova commented that the responsibility for the bilateral diplomatic crisis lies with Washington.

The official stated that Russia has "repeatedly warned the U.S. about the consequences of its hostile steps, which dangerously confirm the degree of confrontation between our countries."

She added that this course "does not meet the interests of the peoples of the two major nuclear powers, which have a historical responsibility for the fate of the world," she stressed.

The Russian diplomatic spokeswoman also stated that "in the telephone conversation with the Russian president, Joe Biden expressed his interest in normalizing Russian-American relations. But, his administration's actions indicate the opposite," she said.

Finally, Zakharova expressed that Russia would give a decisive response to the U.S. measures. "The reaction to the sanctions will be inevitable," she ratified.

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