The United States of America imposed fresh wave sanctions against Russia for cyber-attacks and other hostile acts.
According to Thursday’s White House statement, the new sanctions show the US “will impose costs in a strategic and economically impactful manner on Russia” if it continues its “destabilizing international action”.
It reaffirms the administration’s view that the Russian government is behind the cyber-attacks and has been trying to “undermine the conduct of free and fair democratic elections” in the US and its allies.
The sanctions target 32 entities and officials accused of trying to influence the 2020 US presidential election “and other acts of disinformation”.
Ten diplomats, including alleged spies, are being expelled from the US.
The executive order also bars US financial institutions from purchasing rouble-denominated bonds from June.
The Russian government has denied the allegations and called any new sanctions “illegal”.
The measures come at a tense time for relations between the two countries.
Last month the US targeted seven Russian officials and more than a dozen government entities over the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Russia says it had no part in the poisoning.
In a call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, Mr Biden vowed to defend US national interests “firmly”, while proposing a meeting with Mr Putin to find areas where the two countries could work together.
Last year, cyber-security researchers identified a hack in a piece of software called SolarWinds – which gave cyber-criminals access to 18,000 government and private computer networks.
The hackers gained access to digital files of several US government agencies, including the treasury, justice and state departments.
Microsoft president Brad Smith said in February the SolarWinds hack was “the largest and most sophisticated” the world had ever seen.
Last December then US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he believed Russia was behind the attack.