Russia Sanctions: Trump Administration Targets Russia For Election Meddling

The Trump administration announced Thursday that it will enact new sanctions against Russia over allegations that the Russian government and other individuals attempted to interfere with the 2016 United States presidential election.

The sanctions will include measures initially passed by Congress that were delayed by President Trump. They also include measures that will target five entities and 19 individuals who are believed to have taken part in an effort to sow discord and disrupt the American political process.

ladimir Putin and Donald Trump The Trump administration announces sanctions on Russia over election meddling. Photo: Kremlin.ru/Wikimedia Commons

The administration’s decision to enact the sanctions comes just one day after United Kingdom Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she believed Russia was likely behind a chemical attack against a former Russian spy and his daughter. On Thursday, the U.S., France, and Germany joined Britain in blaming Russia for the attack.

“By no means will this constitute the end to our ongoing campaign to instruct Mr. Putin to change his behavior,” a senior administration official told reporters, according to CNN.

Targets of the sanctions include several organizations and individuals identified by special counsel Robert Mueller in an indictment handed down last month. The indictment notably included the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a notorious bot and troll farm known for spreading misinformation through fake accounts created on social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

The Internet Research Agency was among the organizations hit by Thursday’s sanctions. Also targeted is Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin, a financial backer of the Russian troll farm. Prigozhin is known as “Putin’s chef” because his restaurants and catering businesses have hosted a number of dinners for Russia President Vladimir Putin.

With the new sanctions in place, the individuals and entities targeted will be barred from travelling to the U.S. and any assets that they may have within the country will be frozen and made inaccessible.

In addition to announcing the sanctions, the Trump administration also disclosed attempts made by Russian actors to penetrate the U.S. energy grid. The sanctions will also punish those involved in the newly revealed cyberattacks.

The Trump administration previously missed a congressionally mandated deadline to impose sanctions on Russia after the measures passed through the Congress with overwhelming support.

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