The United States does not seek to escalate tensions with Russia, but Moscow's actions will have consequences. This is according to the speech by US President Joe Biden. The White House published the remarks on its website by the time the President began to deliver his address to a joint session of Congress.
"With regard to Russia, I made very clear to President Putin that while we don’t seek escalation, their actions have consequences," Biden said.
"I responded in a direct and proportionate way to Russia’s interference in our elections and cyberattacks on our government and businesses - and they did both of those things and I did respond," he noted.
Biden added that Moscow and Washington can cooperate when it’s in their mutual interests. "As we did when we extended the New START Treaty on nuclear arms - and as we’re working to do on the climate crisis," he said.
"I kept my commitment to convene a climate summit right here in America, with all of the major economies of the world - from China and Russia to India and the European Union in my first 100 days," Biden said speaking about the climate change, TASS reports.
On April 15, Biden signed an executive order to impose sanctions on Russia. In part, the United States prohibits its companies from acquiring Russian debt liabilities issued by the Central Bank, the National Wealth Fund and the Ministry of Finance. Also, the Department of Commerce imposed sanctions on 16 organizations and 16 individuals, allegedly responsible for Russia’s rumored interference in US elections. Besides, sanctions were introduced against eight individuals and legal entities related to Crimea. Also, the United States is expelling ten diplomats, who are deemed as "representatives of Russian intelligence services."
On April 16, Russia announced tit-for-tat measures. The US ambassador was advised to head to Washington for consultations. Russia asked ten US diplomats to leave Moscow and launched a procedure than stops the practice of hiring citizens of Russia and third countries by the US diplomatic missions in Russia. Apart from that, Russia barred entry for eight incumbent and former US high-ranking officials and figures, who have been involved in devising and pursuing the anti-Russian policy. Among them are the US attorney general, the FBI director, the director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of Homeland Security and the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.