Reactions to the US sanctions against Russia. Sweden and the GRU. Export controls on personal data. Power grid security.

At a glance.

  • Reaction to the US sanctions against Russia.
  • Sweden thinks the GRU did it, but that there’s no point in prosecuting individuals.
  • Export controls on US personal data?
  • Emerging US policy for enhancing power grid security.

The carrot as the stick: more reactions on the US response to Russian hacking.

The Biden Administration’s much-anticipated response to Holiday Bear’s tear was coupled with an invitation to improve bilateral relations, as SecurityWeek observes. President Biden gave President Putin a heads up about the measures and pitched a summer summit, according to NBC, claiming this “is the time to de-escalate” and expressing the desire to dodge a “downward spiral.” Secretary of State Blinken clarified that Washington seeks “opportunities for cooperation, with the goal of building a more stable and predictable relationship.” Breaking Defense recounts Stanford researcher Herbert Lin’s doubts that the sanctions will steer Moscow towards better behavior, as the Kremlin promises an “inescapable” riposte.  

Atlantic Council notes that the response “leave[s] room for escalation,” for example against Kremlin “cronies,” though the measures have already had significant economic impact. (Foreign Policy mentions that some anticipated stronger action, finding the fiscal policy “timid,” since the more important secondary market for Russian debt was left alone.) Council contributors characterized the move as “big politics,” in contrast to available incremental alternatives, explaining that the approach takes on “Putinism” writ large. They worried, however, that the message delivered was not one of resetting relations, and the simultaneous Black Sea and Nord Stream 2 backtracking, which the Moscow Times and Politico detail, send mixed signals about the US’ resolve.  

In the Administration’s view (via NBC), the reaction was “resolute but proportionate” and preserved the opportunity for mutually beneficial partnership. On Moscow’s view, per Foreign Policy, President Biden is “trying to destroy relations between the two countries.” Others—without holding out hope for a productive reply from Russia— see in the approach a direct…