US may impose new sanctions on Russia for attempting to influence US voters 

Foreigners were unable to interfere with the counting of votes during Congress’s interim elections, but several countries did conduct cyber operations against the US ahead of the elections. 

According to a report published by US National Intelligence on December 21, these countries were Russia, China and Iran, which attempted to influence voters’ opinions by spreading misinformation on popular social networks. 

US National Intelligence Director Dan Coats said that these campaigns were activated several days before voting day, November 6. 

“Russia, and other foreign countries, including China and Iran, conducted influence activities and messaging campaigns targeted at the United States to promote their strategic interests,” Dan Coats noted. 

The intelligence department released a new report for consideration by the Justice Department and the Homeland Security Department. The departments have 45 days to review the document. If they agree with the report’s conclusions, new sanctions may be imposed on Russia, Iran and China. 

Possible punishments may include the blocking of access to property and funds in US jurisdictions, a ban on using the US financial system, and a ban on investing in American companies. Washington may also place entry bans on the organizers and perpetrators of the operations. 

According to a presidential decree, the Department of State and the Treasury Department can also impose additional sanctions independently if needed. 

Several politicians believe that the report confirms that the threat of foreign influence on the American public is growing, and that the time to act is now. 

“Russia didn’t go anywhere after the 2016 elections,” said Senator Mark Warner, Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee. According to him, there is nothing surprising about China and Iran also trying to manipulate the opinion of American voters. Lately the situation in this regard has only been getting worse, Warner observed.


  Russia, US intelligence, China, Iran