Biden: If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I’m prepared to respond

Biden discusses the reasons behind his decision to sanction Russia and Russian officials due to its meddling in US election.

Ben Ariel ,

Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Reuters

US President Joe Biden on Thursday commented on the sweeping sanctions his administration imposed on Russia.

“If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I’m prepared to take further actions to respond. It is my responsibility as president of the United States to do so,” Biden said from the White House, according to CNBC.

“I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so, I chose to be proportionate,” Biden said of the measures, adding that he did not want to “kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia.”

Biden also said that he proposed in a phone call with Putin that the two meet in person this summer in Europe to discuss a range of pressing issues.

Earlier on Thursday, the Biden administration unleashed several sanctions that named 32 Russian individuals and entities for their roles in attempting to influence the 2020 US presidential election, five individuals and three entities linked to Russia’s illegal annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea, and six technology companies for supporting support Russian Intelligence Services.

In addition, the State Department announced the expulsion of 10 officials from the Russian Embassy in Washington.

The US intelligence community said in a landmark report last month that the Russian government meddled in the 2020 election with an influence campaign "denigrating" President Joe Biden and "supporting" former President Donald Trump.

In mid-December it was reported that a group of hackers backed by a “foreign government” stole information from the US Treasury Department and the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA).

Subsequently it was revealed that the attack also targeted the US Department of Homeland Security.

US intelligence later said that Russia was likely behind those hacking attacks.

Russia has long brushed off allegations of meddling in US elections, human rights abuses, cyberattacks as well as reports of placing bounties on US troops serving in Afghanistan.

Moscow described Biden’s moves on Thursday as a blow to bilateral relations and vowed to impose swift retaliatory measures.

The Kremlin also blamed the United States for weakening the diplomatic relations between Washington and Moscow.



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