US Announces New Russia Sanctions for Election Meddling

(CN) – The Trump administration on Thursday imposed new sanctions on two dozen Russian entities and individuals for interfering in the 2016 election and carrying out a series of high-profile cyberattacks.

The Treasury Department said it will immediately freeze the assets of five entities and 19 individuals and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.

Some of the entities, including the Internet Research Agency, have previously been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller for illegally plotting to sow political discord and sway the election for then-candidate Donald Trump

“The administration is confronting and countering malign Russian cyber activity, including their attempted interference in U.S. elections, destructive cyberattacks, and intrusions targeting critical infrastructure,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a written statement. “These targeted sanctions are a part of a broader effort to address the ongoing nefarious attacks emanating from Russia.”

Mnuchin went on to say the administration will continue to impose additional sanctions “to hold Russian government officials and oligarchs accountable for their destabilizing activities by severing their access to the U.S. financial system.”

Also on Thursday, the administration accused Russia of a concerted, ongoing operation to hack and spy on the U.S. energy grid and other critical infrastructure.

U.S. national security officials said the FBI, the Homeland Security Department and American intelligence agencies determined that Russian intelligence and others were behind the attacks on the energy sector.

The officials said the Russians deliberately chose U.S. energy industry targets, obtaining access to computer systems and then conducting “network reconnaissance” of industrial control systems that run American factories and the electricity grid.

 

 

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