The United States is set to hit Russia with fresh sanctions for interference in the 2020 presidential election, a sweeping cyberattack against American government and corporate networks and other activities.
The sanctions are expected to be announced on Thursday and include expelling Russian diplomats from the U.S. and blacklisting more than 20 Russian entities, according to one U.S. official and a second source familiar with the matter.
The sanctions will come a month after President Joe Biden publicly promised retaliation against Russian President Vladimir Putin for a range of malicious activities that Washington blames on Moscow.
Biden has characterized Putin as a “killer” and said he would “pay the price” for these actions. Russia denies all of these charges, saying the intelligence community’s documentation of its 2020 election interference consisted of “baseless accusations.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Moscow would respond in kind to any “illegal” sanctions imposed by the U.S.
“We condemn any intentions to impose sanctions, consider them illegal, and in any case the principle of reciprocity operates in this area,” he said Thursday according to Reuters. Russia did not want relations with Washington to be a case of “one step forward and two steps back,” he added.
Last month a declassified intelligence document said that Putin authorized influence operations to denigrate Biden, support then-President Donald Trum