Russia to expel 10 U.S diplomats, ban top Biden officials in response to sanctions

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Zachary Basu
·2 min read
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Russia will expel 10 U.S. diplomats and add eight current and former U.S. officials to its no-entry list in retaliation for sanctions that the Biden administration leveled at Moscow on Friday, Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday.

Why it matters: The measures come after the U.S. said it would expel 10 Russian intelligence officers operating under diplomatic cover, as part of a broad package of sanctions retaliating against the SolarWinds hack of federal agencies and Russia's interference in the 2020 election.

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Details: The following Americans have been banned from Russia ...

  • Attorney General Merrick Garland

  • Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal

  • Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas

  • White House domestic policy czar Susan Rice

  • FBI Director Christopher Wray

  • Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines

  • Former White House national security adviser John Bolton

  • Former CIA Director Robert James Woolsey Jr.

The big picture: In addition to expelling 10 Russians on Thursday, the U.S. sanctioned dozens of Russian officials and entities and set new restrictions on buying Russian sovereign debt.

  • "The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship," Biden said in a speech on Thursday afternoon, warning Russia not to continue interfering U.S. elections.

  • Biden has proposed meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin for a summit in a European country this summer "to find a stable and predictable way forward," according to a senior administration official. It's unclear whether Putin will accept.

What to watch: Lavrov said at a press conference that the Kremlin is considering imposing "painful" costs on U.S. businesses operating in Russia in retaliation for the sanctions, per Reuters.

Go deeper: Biden's Russia sanctions likely to achieve little

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