Biden Team Weighs Russia Sanctions Impact, Has More Options
19 Apr 2021

The Biden administration is evaluating the impact of new sanctions on Russia and is prepared to escalate those penalties if the Kremlin fails to rein in hacking attacks and attempts to interfere with the U.S. political process, according to people familiar with the matter.

Options available to President Joe Biden include expanding the measures announced Thursday to bar U.S. financial institutions from the secondary market for ruble-denominated bonds issued by Russian state banks, said the people, who discussed the matter on condition of anonymity.

Biden ordered the latest sanctions on Russia — including limits on buying newly issued sovereign debt — in response to allegations that Moscow was behind a hack on SolarWinds Corp. and interfered with last year’s U.S. election.

The U.S. also sanctioned a number of entities and individuals, while expelling 10 Russian diplomats working in Washington, including some intelligence officers.

Yet the moves were calibrated by the U.S. to punish the Kremlin for past misdeeds while keeping relations from deteriorating further, especially as tensions grow over a Russian military buildup near Ukraine.

In another sign of worsening relations between the two countries, Russia on Saturday accused a Ukrainian diplomat of stealing information and gave him three days to leave the country on Saturday, the news agency Interfax reported. Ukraine hinted it would respond in kind.

Two days before announcing the sanctions, Biden offered to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin later this year, even as he warned his counterpart about a litany of transgressions.

By Jennifer Jacobs and Henry Meyer, Bloomberg, 17 April 2021

Read more at Bloomberg

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