US announces sanctions against Moscow, expels 10 Russian diplomats

 

April 15, 2021

 


The US said the move was in retaliation for the Kremlin’s US election interference, a massive cyber attack and other hostile activity. PHOTO: AFP

 

By AFP, REUTERS

 

WASHINGTON – The United States announced economic sanctions against Russia on Thursday (April 15) and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin’s US election interference, a massive cyber attack and other hostile activity.

President Joe Biden’s executive order “sends a signal that the US will impose costs in a strategic and economically impactful manner on Russia if it continues or escalates its destabilising international action,” the White House said.

Meanwhile, Nato allies on Thursday backed the US decision, over what they said were Moscow’s “destabilising activities.”

“Nato Allies support and stand in solidarity with the United States, following its 15 April announcement of actions to respond to Russia’s destabilising activities,” the statement said.

“Allies are taking actions individually and collectively to enhance the Alliance’s collective security,” it said.

Nato members cited a “sustained pattern” of Russian behaviour, from aggression against Ukraine to interference in the US presidential election and cyber attacks.

“The United States and other Allies assess that all available evidence points to the responsibility of the Russian Federation for the SolarWinds hack,” the statement said.

The alliance also condemned the nerve agent attack on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, which it blames on Moscow, and said it was concerned by reports Russia had encouraged attacks againsts its troops in Afghanistan.

“Allies will continue to work in close consultation to address Russia’s actions, which constitute a threat to Euro-Atlantic security,” the statement said.

“We call on Russia to cease immediately its destabilising behaviour, and to uphold its international obligations.” The US announced economic sanctions against Russia on Thursday and the expulsion of 10 diplomats in retaliation for what Washington says is the Kremlin’s US election interference, a massive cyber attack and other hostile activity.

President Joe Biden’s executive order “sends a signal that the United States will impose costs in a strategic and economically impactful manner on Russia if it continues or escalates its destabilising international action,” the White House said.

Russia’s foreign ministry said it was “unavoidable” that Moscow would respond to new US sanctions and that it had called in Washington’s ambassador in Moscow for “tough talks”.

The ministry said the new sanctions contradicted President Biden’s stated desire to normalise relations with Moscow, something he told Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin earlier this week.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the US’ hostile steps had dangerously raised the temperature of a confrontation between Moscow and Washington and that it would have to pay for damaging bilateral ties.

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