US expected to sanction Russia, expel Russian officials after cyberhacks, election interference

A SolarWinds sign. (Shutterstock via CNN)

(CNN) — The Biden administration is expected to announce sanctions as soon as Thursday targeting Russian individuals and entities, in addition to the expulsion of as many as a dozen Russian diplomats from the United States in response to the hack of SolarWinds and election interference, according to two sources familiar with the plans.

Another source familiar tells CNN that the administration is expected to take measures against Russia on Thursday and is coordinating with European allies.

The sanctions will target intelligence and government officials and entities involved in the SolarWinds cyber intrusion, the officials said.

These actions will be rolled out in the form of an executive order from President Joe Biden as well as sanctions coordinated with the State Department and the Treasury Department, the officials said. State Department officials have called U.S. allies and are preparing for potential Russian responses.

It is unclear if these sanctions will be enough to change Russian behavior, the officials said.

The White House and the State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Biden administration vowed to respond to Russia’s aggressions against the United States and its allies in the early days of Biden’s presidency. Biden confronted Russian President Vladimir Putin over a range of issues, from a recent massive cyberattack to the suspected poisoning of the country’s leading opposition figure, during their first phone call. And the Biden administration has already rolled out sanctions for the jailing and poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

Hitting back at Russia also comes as the Biden administration has sought to keep open channels of diplomatic communication and to work with Russia when it is in the United States’ interest. Biden put that approach on display this week when he proposed a summit with Putin during their second phone call.

The Biden administration also recently decided to keep the Trump-appointed U.S. ambassador on the job in Moscow for the foreseeable future and invited Putin to a climate change conference later this month.