Trump administration finally announces Russian Federation sanctions over election meddling

Trump administration finally announces Russian Federation sanctions over election meddling

The U.S. accusations and accompanying sanctions mark a stepped-up attempt by Trump's administration to show it's adequately confronting Russian Federation over hacking, election meddling and general efforts to compromise Western democracies and infrastructure.

In all, 19 individuals were blacklisted along with five entities.

It said that Russian Federation was behind the recent use of a military-grade nerve agent to "murder" two British citizens, but Moscow denied its involvement in the incident.

The U.K. had thoroughly briefed its allies on known details of the attack, and the countries all share the assessment that there is no plausible alternative explanation to Russian Federation being the culprit, Thursday's statement declared.

The US Congress passed CAATSA last summer in response to allegations that Russian Federation sought to influence the 2016 US presidential election.

The President called the attack "something that should never, ever happen, and we're taking it very seriously, as I think are many others".

His administration slapped financial sanctions against numerous same individuals recently charged in the Robert Mueller probe.

It described other ominous activity as well.

"The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in USA elections, destructive cyber-attacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure", Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said in a statement.

Officials have sent security alerts to energy companies who they say are being deliberately targeted in Russian "network reconnaissance" operations involving control systems that run United States factories and the country's electrical grid.

The officials said the hackers chose their targets methodically, obtained access to computer systems, conducted "network reconnaissance" and then attempted to cover their tracks by deleting evidence of the intrusions.

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Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday that Washington will continue to apply pressure on Russian Federation until the country's government changes its behavior.

Trump on Thursday also joined the leaders of Britain, France and Germany in blaming Moscow for the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy who was living in England. Prime Minister Theresa May has expelled 23 Russian diplomats, severed high-level contacts with Moscow and vowed to take both open and covert actions against Russian dirty money and "hostile state activity".

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Moscow was greeting the sanctions calmly, but he warned that Russian Federation had already started "to prepare a response".

On Thursday, during a visit to the attack site in Wiltshire, Ms.

In addition to the election meddling and infrastructure attacks, the US cited the February 15 NotPetya cyberattack, attributed to the Russian military, as another reason for its decision to impose sanctions.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the United Kingdom will also have Canada's support. May said: "we do hold Russian Federation culpable for this brazen, brazen act and despicable act". "The United Kingdom can count on Canada's full support in efforts to hold Russian Federation to account for this unacceptable and unlawful behaviour".

On Thursday, administration officials insisted the new measures weren't the end of their efforts to punish Russian Federation.

The chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee praised the Trump administration's moves against Russian Federation and said more needs to be done.

They noted that most of the people punished Thursday had been previously charged in the Mueller probe - which Trump keeps criticizing.

The sanctions freeze any assets the individuals may have in US jurisdictions and bar Americans from doing business with them.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of NY said the sanctions prove that Mueller's "investigation is not a "witch hunt" as the president and his allies have claimed". "These sanctions will send a message to Russian Federation, just not the one we want to send".

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