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USA to announce sanctions on Russian Federation over hacking, election meddling

USA to announce sanctions on Russian Federation over hacking, election meddling”

"We condemn any intentions to impose sanctions, consider them illegal, and in any case the principle of reciprocity operates in this area", said Peskov.

Besides that hack, United States officials last month alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin authorised influence operations to help Donald Trump in his unsuccessful bid for re-election as president, though there's no evidence Russia or anyone else changed votes or manipulated the outcome.

The sanctions will affect more than 30 Russian entities and will include expelling more than 10 Russians from the United States, including diplomats, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

Washington is also set to formally accuse Russian intelligence of carrying out the SolarWinds hack that targeted more than 100 USA companies and 18 000 government and private computer networks.

The measures are to be announced on Thursday, according to the official, who was not authorised to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity. Officials had previously said they expected to take actions both seen and unseen.

Russian Federation did not want relations with Washington to be a case of "one step forward and two steps back", he added.

The move would be retaliation for cyber-attacks aimed at the United States, including alleged interference in the 2020 presidential elections.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy visits soldiers in the war-hit Donbas region, eastern Ukraine.

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On Wednesday, at a meeting in Brussels with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, "We're deeply concerned about what we're seeing, about Russia's ongoing aggressive actions, rhetoric directed at Ukraine".

Putin later recalled his ambassador to the U.S. and pointed at the USA history of slavery and slaughtering Native Americans and the atomic bombing of Japan in World War II.

It is unclear if these sanctions will be enough to change Russian behaviour, the officials said.

The action is also in response to election interference, a senior administration official said on Wednesday night.

The Biden administration is set to place a wide range of sanctions against Russian Federation according to reports.

"A key element of Moscow's strategy this election cycle was its use of proxies linked to Russian intelligence to push influence narratives - including misleading or unsubstantiated allegations against President Biden - to USA media organizations, US officials, and prominent USA individuals, including some close to former President Trump and his administration", the declassified report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated.

U.S. officials are still grappling with the after-effects of the SolarWinds intrusion, which affected agencies including the Treasury, Justice, Energy and Homeland Security departments, and are still assessing what information may have been stolen.

Some 30 entities are expected to face sanctions for the Solar Winds breach or interference in U.S. elections, with about 10 Russian officials being expelled.



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