Russia is considering retaliatory measures against the United States after the U.S. announced new sanctions against the country, and ordered the expulsion of certain Russian operatives.
The Associated Press on Thursday reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson said that Moscow regrets the new U.S. sanctions and will consider retaliatory measures.
BREAKING: Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesman says Moscow regrets new U.S. sanctions, will consider retaliatory measures.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 29, 2016
The spokesperson actually went farther saying that “reciprocal steps” will be — not maybe — forthcoming. “You realize, of course, reciprocal steps will be made and the U.S. embassy in Moscow and, quite possibly, the consulates will be cut down to size as well,” Vladimir Dzhabarov, the deputy chairman of the foreign policy committee in the Russian Duma told Tass News after the sanctions were announced.
Earlier on Thursday, the Obama administration announced that it would expel some 35 Russian intelligence operatives, shutter two Russian compounds in the U.S. and impose economic sanctions, diplomatic censure and public “naming and shaming” as retaliation against Russian hacking that was aimed at tilting the U.S. election in favor of President-elect Donald Trump and against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Russia has denied responsibility in the hacking, and in the U.S. Trump and his team are increasingly isolated in the U.S. in supporting Russia’s claim.
The sanctions include the broadening of a 2015 executive order to allow Obama to punish those involved in cyberattacks against the U.S. The Department of Treasury will now be allowed to freeze the assets of those who digitally damaged U.S. critical infrastructure.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security issued a damning joint report on Thursday detailing the evidence of how Russia hacked Democratic Party organizations attributing much of it to what is called spearphishing in which the hackers tricked targeted users into clicking bogus links that either deployed malware or directed them to a fake webmail domain hosted by Russia. Russian intelligence was able to use harvested credentials to then gain access and steal content, according to the report. This likely led “to the exfiltration of information from multiple senior party members.”