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The United States points to a group linked to North Korea over the Axis Infinity hack

US prepares to impose higher costs on Russia over Ukraine referendum

The White House said on Friday that the United States is ready to work with allies to impose additional economic costs on Russia if Moscow annexes parts of Ukraine.

Russia is planning what Washington describes as a sham referendum in parts of eastern Ukraine, seen as a step towards annexing the territories. Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move not recognized by the West.

US President Joe Biden said in a statement that Russia’s polls were “a false pretext for attempting to forcibly annex parts of Ukraine in flagrant violation of international law, including the United Nations Charter.”

“The United States will never recognize the territory of Ukraine as something that is not part of Ukraine,” he said.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the United States is prepared to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia, in line with allies, if Moscow tries to annex other parts of Ukraine.

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