Joseph Biden showers Russia with sanctions against and declares national emergency

Empire of sanctions declares national emergency to deal with Russia's unusual threat

US President Joe Biden signed a decree to impose new sanctions against Russia due to the actions of its government and special services against the sovereignty and interests of the country, a message on the website of the White House says.

I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, find that specified harmful foreign activities of the Government of the Russian Federation […] constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

As for Russia's "destabilizing" actions in the international arena, the Biden administration referred to:

  • actions of the government and special services of Russia against the sovereignty and interests of the United States;
  • efforts to undermine free and fair democratic elections in the United States, in US allies and their partners;
  • cyber attacks, exploiting and encouraging transnational corruption to influence foreign governments;
  • extraterritorial activities against dissidents or journalists;
  • efforts to undermine security in countries and regions important to the national security of the United States;
  • violation of the well-established principles of international law, including the territorial integrity of states.

As US media previously wrote, the new sanctions have affected the sovereign national debt of the Russian Federation. US financial institutions have been prohibited from placing ruble or non-ruble bonds on the primary market issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of Russia, the National Wealth Fund or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation; they have also been prohibited from giving ruble and other currency loans to those organization. If necessary, the sanctions against the Russian public debt can be expanded.

In addition, blocking sanctions have been introduced against six technology companies, which, as US officials believe, are connected with Russian special services:

  • ERA Technopolis,
  • JSC Pasit,
  • LLC Neobit,
  • Advanced System Technology (AST),
  • Research Institute of Specialized Computer Protection and Automation Devices, 
  • Positive Technologies.

The latter is included in the rating of the largest companies in the Russian sector of the Internet (Runet) according to Forbes.

According to the website of US Treasury, the ERA Technopolis Research Center is funded and managed by the Russian Ministry of Defense and is linked to the GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate). JSC Pasit and the above-mentioned research institutes conducted research and development to support "malicious cyber operations" of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR). To crown it all, the US Treasury Department links companies Neobit and AST with the Ministry of Defense, FSB, GRU and SVR.

According to US Treasury, the above-mentioned Russian companies provide support to the cyber program of Russian special services, including expert advice, software development and the provision of the technical base to facilitate malicious activities in cyberspace.

The US blamed SVR for cyber espionage campaign with the use of the SolarWinds Orion platform "also known as APT 29, Cozy Bear and The Dukes." Compromising the supply chain of SolarWinds software enabled SVR to "spy on or potentially disrupt more than 16,000 computer systems around the world," the US agency said.

The US Treasury also imposed sanctions against 32 legal entities and individuals (including ex-GRU officer Denis Tyurin) in connection with attempts to influence the 2020 US presidential elections and other acts of disinformation and interference."

The sanctions against eight individuals and legal entities are related to the ongoing Russian occupation and repression in the Crimea. The restrictions against them were introduced in partnership with the European Union, Great Britain, Australia and Canada.

The list of those individuals includes general director of Mostotrest (the company that built the Crimean bridge) Leonid Ryzhenkin, Crimean Interior Minister Pavel Karanda, Crimean Property Minister Larisa Kulinich, head of the Crimean FSB Directorate Leonid Mikhailuk and head of the regional Investigative Committee Vladimir Terentyev.

In addition, US Treasury imposed sanctions on news agencies SouthFront, Newsfront, Inforos, the Strategic Culture Foundation of the Russian Federation, journalist Alexander Malkevich and the Foundation for the Protection of National Values, which he previously headed, the Association for Free Research and International Cooperation, as well as the expert International Anti-Crisis Center from RF.

Three Russian companies — Trans-Logistic, Alkon and Unijet — were sanctioned due to their cooperation with businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin.

To crown it all, the United States is expelling ten Russian diplomats working in New York and Washington. According to the White House, there are intelligence officers among those officials.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov
Editor Dmitry Sudakov