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Biden Says He Is ‘Prepared To Take Further Actions’ if Russia ‘Continues To Interfere With Our Democracy’

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President Joe Biden is imposing sanctions on Russia for its “malign” actions such as cyber-hacking, and alleged election interference.

In remarks at the White House on Thursday, the president said, “I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so — I chose to be proportionate. The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship.”

“If Russia continues to interfere with our democracy, I’m prepared to take further actions to respond. It is my responsibility to do so,” he added.

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The U.S. imposed a fresh round of sanctions on 16 Russian entities and 16 Russian individuals for their alleged attempts to interfere in the 2020 election. It also sanctioned five individuals and three entities connected to Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.

Additionally, it announced it would expel 10 Russian diplomats.

Biden also signed an executive order that allows the U.S. to sanction any sector of the Russian economy.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN, “What President Biden is going to announce today, we believe, are proportionate measures to defend American interests in response to harmful russian actions including cyber intrusions and election interference.”

“His goal is to provide a significant and credible response but not to escalate the situation,” he added.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Reuters of the new actions, “We condemn any intentions to impose sanctions, consider them illegal, and in any case the principle of reciprocity operates in this area.”

“Reciprocity so that our own interests are ensured in the best possible way,” he added.

Biden had proposed a summit with Putin to address tensions around Russia’s military build-up near Ukraine. However, Peskov told Reuters that the new sanctions will likely not help the chances of the summit coming to fruition.

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