Alexei Druzhinin / AP
President Biden is ordering a new round of economic sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow’s election interference and computer hacking linked to the Kremlin that has infiltrated many US government networks.
White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, speaking with CNN on Thursday, said Biden is imposing sanctions on Russia over the recent SolarWinds hack and interference in the elections.
Sullivan said: “What President Biden will announce today, we believe that it is proportionate measures to defend US interests in response to harmful Russian actions, including cyber breaches and interference in the elections.”
Sullivan said that in a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week, Biden made clear that “his goal is to provide a large and reliable response, but not to escalate the situation.”
According to the White House, the recent sanctions have targeted more than 30 Russian entities and individuals, and have ordered the expulsion of 10 employees of the Russian diplomatic mission from the United States.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would wait for details from the White House before commenting in detail, but indicated that Moscow might respond.
He said, according to Reuters, “We condemn any intention to impose sanctions and consider them illegal, and in any case, the principle of reciprocity works in this area.”
In his CNN interview, Sullivan reiterated Biden’s intention to meet directly with Putin at an upcoming summit.
“We believe that the actions we are taking today and broader diplomacy can yield a better set of results for relations between the United States and Russia,” he said.