US and European sanctions on Russian officials implicated in poisoning Navalny | DW News Arabia | Breaking news and perspectives from around the world | DW

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Today, Tuesday (March 2), representatives of the US government announced 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 of the Russian state. A senior American official stated that “the intelligence services concluded with high confidence that officers in the Russian federal security services used a nerve agent known as Benovichuk to poison the most prominent opponent of the Kremlin, Alexei Navalny, on August 20, 2020,” again calling for his “immediate and unconditional release.”

The US sanctions announcement came in coordinated action with the European Union. Earlier on Tuesday, the European Union had announced new sanctions against high-ranking government officials in Russia, namely, Russia’s Attorney General Igor Krasnov, Chairman of the Central Investigation Commission Alexander Bastrykin, President of the Judicial Enforcement Authority Alexander Kalashnikov and Commander of the National Guard Viktor Solotov.

On the other hand, the 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.

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.

For its part, Russia criticized the policy of imposing sanctions, saying it would remain ineffective. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “Those who continue to rely on these measures will probably think a little bit about it: Are they achieving any goal by pursuing such a policy?” “The answer is clear: this policy does not achieve its goals,” he added. For his part, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed, during a press conference, that Moscow “will necessarily respond” to Western sanctions.

It is noteworthy that a Russian court had been upheld on the twentieth of last February, 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.

H.D./FY (DPA, AFP)





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