By Scott Neuman
Russian President Vladimir Putin is shown at a meeting on Wednesday. The U.S. is imposing new sanctions against a group of Russian entities and personnel.
President Biden is ordering a new round of economic sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow’s election meddling and a Kremlin-linked computer breach that penetrated numerous U.S. government networks.
White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, speaking with CNN on Thursday, said that Biden is imposing the sanctions on Russia over the recent SolarWinds hack and election interference.
“What President Biden is going to announce today, we believe, are proportionate measures to defend American interests in response to harmful Russia actions including cyber intrusions and election interference,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said that in a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week, Biden made clear that “his goal is provide a significant and credible response, but not to escalate the situation.”
According to the White House, the latest sanctions target more than 30 Russian entities and individuals, and order 10 personnel from the Russian diplomatic mission to be expelled from the U.S.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia would wait for details from the White House before commenting in detail, but indicated that Moscow could retaliate.
“We condemn any intentions to impose sanctions, consider them illegal, and in any case the principle of reciprocity operates in this area,” he said, according to Reuters.
In his interview with CNN, Sullivan reiterated Biden’s intention to meet directly with Putin at an upcoming summit.
“We believe that altogether, both the actions we are taking today and that broader diplomacy, can produce a better set of outcomes for U.S.-Russia relations,” he said.