Russia: US 'will respond to any recklessness' says Blinken
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Russian leader Vladimir Putin was warned against making any “reckless” moves against the US or her allies as tensions between Moscow and Washington show no sign of easing. President Joe Biden’s top foreign policy official, Antony Blinken was invited in an interview with BBC to discuss the threat posed by Russia. The US official responded with a clear warning for President Putin, telling the Russian leader that any “aggression” would be met with an American response.
BBC correspondent Justin Webb asked how the Biden administration regarded Putin strengths and ability to remain in power.
Secretary Blinken replied: “I have to tell you we are least focussed on President Putin or any one individual and more focused on Russia’s actions.”
“What President Biden has said very clearly and very repeatedly is if Russia acts recklessly or aggressively as it did with the solar winds cyber intrusion, as it did with interference in our elections, as it did with what it has done to Mr Nalavny, then we will respond.”
The remarks come after President Joe Biden slapped sanctions on Russia last month in response to what the US described as cyber attacks.
The White House claimed the moves, aimed at President Putin’s inner circle, were to counter “Russia’s harmful foreign activities.”
President Biden told reporters after the announcement the sanctions were a “proportionate” response to repeated attempted by Russia to undermine US democracy.
He said: “I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so. The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia.”
Russia: Putin issues warning about ‘crossing red line’
Meanwhile, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out this week on Russian’s election hacking and said there was “significant” evidence of Russian influence in the 2016 Brexit referendum.
Ms Clinton told the online event hosted by Chatham House: “There was also significant evidence of Russian involvement if not influence or interference in Brexit.
“There is a lot of evidence of Russia suborning elected officials throughout Europe.
“Particularly in Eastern Europe, the Czech Republic has just thrown out a huge group of Russian intelligence agents.
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“There is a collective effort by Russia to support political parties and candidates in Europe and elsewhere.
“Who they believe will favour their interests.”
Earlier on Ms Clinton had branded Russia as the “primary adversary” when it came to election hacking.
Her remarks came in response to a question posed by the former Conservative Party leader William Hague who said: “One threat that has preoccupied me is foreign interference in democracies.”
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