US Shifts Toward Harsher Stance on Russia With Sanctions and Condemnation

Russia retaliates against measures by US, Britain

The Trump Administration’s hesitance to impose new rounds of sanctions against Russia every so often on any flimsy pretext has fueled a lot of anger among hawkish Congressmen. The indications are that this may be changing.

On Thursday, the US imposed some new sanctions against Russia, and also issued a condemnation, blaming them for discredited 2016 cyberattacks targeting the electrical grid. This points to the US being less concerned about fueling more acrimony in an already worsening US-Russia relationship.

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Rybakov responded by announcing Russia is putting a number of additional US officials on a “blacklist.” He accused them of threatening “global stability” by threatening bilateral ties.

Russia is also reportedly planning to expel a number of British diplomats in the near future, in response for Britain expelling 23 Russian diplomats on Thursday. This reflects growing tensions between Russia and Britain.

The signs suggest that the US and Britain are increasingly willing to take measures against the Russians, even at the expense of worsening ties, and that Russia is increasingly quick to retaliate, apparently no longer expecting Western nations to change their minds and seek a diplomatic rapprochement. This suggests tensions that are already at Cold War levels will just keep growing.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.