White House says "invitation remains open" to Putin on Biden summit
Shafaq News/ President Joe Biden's invitation to Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold a summit in a third country still stands, the White House said on Thursday after the United States slapped an array of sanctions on Moscow.
"The invitation remains open," said White House press secretary Jen Psaki. She said the United States believes a summit would be a good step forward toward "the development of a stable and predictable relationship" between the two countries.
Earlier today, The United States imposed a broad array of sanctions on Russia, including curbs to its sovereign debt market, to punish it for interfering in last year's U.S. election, cyber-hacking, bullying Ukraine and other alleged "malign" actions.
The U.S. government blacklisted Russian companies, expelled Russian diplomats and barred U.S. banks from buying sovereign bonds from Russia's central bank, national wealth fund and finance ministry. Washington also warned the Kremlin that more penalties were possible though the United States said it did not want to escalate.
Moscow reacted angrily, saying this dangerously raised the temperature between the two countries and called into question a possible summit between the U.S. and Russian leaders. It also summoned the U.S. ambassador for a diplomatic dressing-down.
The U.S. Treasury also blacklisted 32 entities and individuals which it said had carried out Russian government-directed attempts to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election and other "acts of disinformation and interference."
In concert with the European Union, Britain, Australia and Canada, the Treasury also sanctioned eight individuals associated with Russia's ongoing occupation and repression in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.
The White House said it was expelling 10 Russian diplomats in Washington D.C., including representatives of the Russian intelligence services and for the first time, formally named the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) as the perpetrator of the SolarWinds Corp (SWI.N) hack. The agency said the allegations were "nonsense" and "windbaggery." read more
The U.S. government plans a new executive order to strengthen its cybersecurity, a U.S. official told reporters, suggesting it could include such elements as encryption and multifactor authentication. read more