The Treasury Department on Thursday announced sanctions against Russia implemented under an executive order from President Joe Biden in response to the SolarWinds hack and alleged election interference by the country.
While the bulk of the sanctions target the Russian government, some implement new prohibitions on certain dealings in Russian sovereign debt. Certain technology companies were also targeted for supporting efforts to “carry out malicious cyber activities against the United States,” Treasury said.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) issued a directive that “generally prohibits U.S. financial institutions from participating in the primary market for ruble or non-ruble denominated bonds issued after June 14, 2021 by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the National Wealth Fund of the Russian Federation, or the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation, and further prohibits U.S. financial institutions from lending ruble or non-ruble denominated funds to these three entities.” This directive expands upon existing prohibitions put in place in August 2019.
Six technology companies were also sanctioned for enabling the Russian Intelligence Services’ cyber-activities. The Biden administration has accused Russia’s foreign intelligence service (SVR) of carrying out last year’s SolarWinds hack, which compromised thousands of U.S. government and private-sector networks.
“The scope and scale of this compromise, combined with Russia’s history of carrying out reckless and disruptive cyber operations, makes it a national security concern,” the White House said. “The SVR has put at risk the global technology supply chain by allowing malware to be installed on the machines of tens of thousands of SolarWinds’ customers. Victims of the compromise include the financial sector, critical infrastructure, government networks, and many others.”