Obama administration close to imposing economic sanctions on Russia for interference in US presidential election: Report

The Barack Obama administration is close to imposing economic sanctions on Russia besides censuring it diplomatically for interference in 2016 US presidential election.
Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin
India TV News Desk New Delhi December 28, 2016 13:10 IST

The Barack Obama administration is close to imposing economic sanctions on Russia besides censuring it diplomatically for interference in 2016 US presidential election. 

According to a report in The Washington Post, senior US officials have hinted that the Obama administration is finalizing the details of a series of measures to punish Russia, which are also expected to include covert action that likely will involve cyber operations.

The report says that an announcement on the public elements of the response could come as early as this week.

It further says that the sanctions part of the package comes after weeks of debate in the White House about how to revise an executive order from last year meant to give the president authority to respond to cyberattacks from overseas although it did not cover efforts to influence the electoral system.

According to the US officials, the executive order could not, as written, be used to punish the most significant cyber-provocation in recent memory against the United States - Russia's hacking of Democratic organizations, targeting of state election systems and meddling in the presidential election.

The officials pointed out that one clear way to use the order against the Russian suspects would be to declare the electoral systems part of the "critical infrastructure" of the United States. 

Alternately, it could be amended to clearly apply to the new threat - interfering in elections.

The report adds that the officials of Obama administration want to make it difficult for President-elect Donald Trump to roll back any action they take.

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