Representatives of the US government announced today, Tuesday, the imposition of sanctions against Russia over the imprisonment of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.
According to these government representatives, these sanctions are expected to apply to high-ranking officials in the Russian state, and the US sanctions came along the lines of sanctions announced by the European Union today, Tuesday.
It should be noted that this is the first sanctions imposed by the Americans on Russia in this incident since US President Joe Biden assumed office, and former US President Donald Trump had refrained from imposing sanctions on Moscow in this case.
The US announcement of the sanctions came in coordinated action with the European Union, and in return Russia criticized the policy of imposing sanctions and said it would remain without effect.
The European Union imposed its first sanctions on Russia after the Novichok poisoning attack last August, as it imposed non-entry and freezing of assets against potential officials of the attack from the circle surrounding Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Russia responded by imposing counter sanctions on prominent employees in the bloc, but their names were not announced .
The European Union announced earlier today, Tuesday, new sanctions against high-ranking government officials in Russia, namely the Russian Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, the head of the Central Investigation Commission Alexander Bastrykin, the head of the Judgment Enforcement Authority, Alexander Kalashnikov, and the Commander of the National Guard, Viktor Solotov.
Representatives of the US government have not yet announced the names of those involved in the US sanctions, and confirmed that the US sanctions are mainly a reflection of the sanctions imposed by the European Union, and they said that close coordination will be made with European allies regarding the subsequent handling of this file.
The US government representatives made clear that the aim of these sanctions was to hold Russia accountable for the attack on Navalny and his arrest, and emphasized that the Biden administration is taking a generally different approach towards Russia.
On February 20, a Russian court upheld a sentence in Navalny’s prison, despite international demands for his release, and Navalny’s lawyers expect he could be released after two and a half years in the summer of 2023.
The Russian judiciary accuses Navalny of violating the conditions of his restricted release pending a previous case, after he traveled to Germany for treatment from the poisoning attempt he was exposed to. In the West’s view, the ruling on Navalny is politically motivated.
Navalny, 44, was transferred to a labor camp as a punitive measure in Pokrov, about 100 kilometers east of the capital, Moscow, but no official confirmation has yet been issued regarding this transfer.
The Russian Interfax news agency quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying today that it is time to rethink whether this policy is effective, adding: “The answer will be clear: This policy does not achieve its goals.”
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