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Statement on United States Actions in Response to Malicious Cyber Activity and Harassment by the Russian Government

December 29, 2016

Today I have ordered a number of actions in response to the Russian Government's aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election. These actions follow repeated private and public warnings that we have issued to the Russian Government and are a necessary and appropriate response to efforts to harm U.S. interests in violation of established international norms of behavior.

All Americans should be alarmed by Russia's actions. In October, my administration publicized our assessment that Russia took actions intended to interfere with the U.S. election process. These data theft and disclosure activities could only have been directed by the highest levels of the Russian Government. Moreover, our diplomats have experienced an unacceptable level of harassment in Moscow by Russian security services and police over the last year. Such activities have consequences. Today I have ordered a number of actions in response.

I have issued an Executive order that provides additional authority for responding to certain cyber activity that seeks to interfere with or undermine our election processes and institutions or those of our allies or partners. Using this new authority, I have sanctioned nine entities and individuals: the GRU and the FSB, two Russian intelligence services; four individual officers of the GRU; and three companies that provided material support to the GRU's cyber operations. In addition, the Secretary of the Treasury is designating two Russian individuals for using cyber-enabled means to cause misappropriation of funds and personal identifying information. The State Department is also shutting down two Russian compounds, in Maryland and New York, used by Russian personnel for intelligence-related purposes, and is declaring "persona non grata" 35 Russian intelligence operatives. Finally, the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are releasing declassified technical information on Russian civilian and military intelligence service cyber activity to help network defenders in the United States and abroad identify, detect, and disrupt Russia's global campaign of malicious cyber activities.

These actions are not the sum total of our response to Russia's aggressive activities. We will continue to take a variety of actions at a time and place of our choosing, some of which will not be publicized. In addition to holding Russia accountable for what it has done, the United States and friends and allies around the world must work together to oppose Russia's efforts to undermine established international norms of behavior and interfere with democratic governance. To that end, my administration will be providing a report to Congress in the coming days about Russia's efforts to interfere in our election, as well as malicious cyber activity related to our election cycle in previous elections.

NOTE: The statement referred to Igor Valentinovich Korobov, Chief, Sergey Aleksandrovich Gizunov, Deputy Chief, and Igor Olegovich Kostyukov and Vladimir Stepanovich Alexseyev, First Deputy Chiefs, Russia's Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), who were named in the Annex accompanying Executive Order 13757, which was signed by the President on December 28 and released by the Office of the Press Secretary on December 29; and Evgeniy Mikhailovich Bogachev and Aleksey Alekseyevich Belan, Russian citizens who were sanctioned in a parallel action on December 29 by the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control for engaging in malicious cyber-enabled activities pursuant to Executive Order 13694.

Barack Obama, Statement on United States Actions in Response to Malicious Cyber Activity and Harassment by the Russian Government Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/321064

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