The administration of US President Barack Obama is set to announce measures designed to retaliate against what Washington considers Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which gave New York billionaire Donald Trump control of the White House, a report says.
The announcement will be made as soon as Thursday, a CNN report cited US officials as saying on Wednesday.
The measures are to be introduced despite warnings by Moscow against more US sanctions.
Apart from the sanctions, which involve naming Russian individuals associated with the hacking, covert cyber missions are also on Obama’s agenda.
Early in December, US intelligence agencies said they had identified individuals with connection to the Russian government that were part of a wider Russian operation to boost the GOP nominee and weaken his opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Top Democrats and Republicans have called for action after the findings of the FBI and the CIA.
South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Wednesday, however, that the retaliation should wait until Trump assumes office on January 20th, 2017.
“Let the new Congress and the new president deal with Russia, pass new sanctions, much tougher than the ones we already have,” he said, asserting that “you need to hit Russia in a sustained fashion.”
Economic sanctions against Moscow were originally introduced in March 2014, after Ukraine’s strategic Black Sea peninsula of Crimea joined Russia following a referendum.
Since then, the EU, the US and some other Western countries have imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia over accusations that Moscow has been involved in the deadly crisis in Ukraine, which has killed nearly 10,000 people to date. The Kremlin, however, has strongly rejected the accusations.