The White house believes that Moscow intends to continue its interference in Western elections
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama imposed new sanctions against Russia in connection with its cyber-attacks, meddling in the November presidential elections and other actions, including harassment of American diplomats in Moscow.
Obama called these measures “necessary and appropriate response to acts intended to harm American interests contrary to accepted international norms of behavior.”
The sanctions imposed by the President on Thursday directed against nine individuals and legal entities: the Russian intelligence services GRU and FSB, four officers of the GRU and the three companies that provided material support to the cyber operations of the GRU.
In addition, under the sanctions were Russian Evgeny Bogachev and Alexei Belan, which the Ministry of Finance called “inveterate criminals” responsible for stealing more than $ 100 million from U.S. banks and companies.
In addition, 35 Russian diplomats in Washington and Consulate in San Francisco was given 72 hours to leave the country because they acted “contrary to accepted international norms of behavior.”
The Russian authorities also denied access to two Russian diplomatic facility in Maryland and new York. This was done in response to oppression and physical violence against American diplomats in Moscow.
“The United States and its allies and friends around the world should not only attract Russia to account for, but also to unite efforts to counteract its attempts to undermine the existing international norms of behaviour and to interfere in democratic governance,” said Obama.
A senior White house official said that the US response will not be limited on Thursday announced sanctions. According to him, will be followed by other measures, which are not to be announced publicly.
As stated by a source in the administration there was no dispute as to whether or not Russia interfered in the presidential elections, primarily by means of e-mail hacking members of the Democratic party to harm the campaign of Hillary Clinton and to increase the chances of Donald trump.
According to a source in the White house believe that Russia may try to influence the outcome of elections in other countries.
He also added that there is no reason to doubt Russia’s intentions to try to do the same in future elections. The next important vote will take place in the US in 2018, when will be re-elected all members of the house of representatives and some members of the Senate.
The official representative of the Kremlin has promised “adequate” response to the sanctions and accused the U.S. of trying to destroy the relations with Moscow.
Elected President Donald trump, made no secret of his desire to improve relations with Russia, said that his country is time “to move on to more important and better things” and also expressed doubt Russian intervention in the elections.
“In the interests of our country and its great people I have this week will meet with leaders of the intelligence community to get the latest information about this situation,” said trump.
The state Department spokesman said Thursday that the repeal of the Executive orders Obama would be “impractical”, as well as to invite representatives of the Russian intelligence back to the US.
President Ronald Reagan deported a total of 80 Russian diplomats, which was also suspected of spying on the sunset of the cold war, in 1986.