Wire Service
1 minute read
2 Mar 2021
4:26 pm

US imposes sanctions on 7 Russian officials over Navalny poisoning


President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent opponent has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in a penal colony for violating parole terms while in Germany recovering from a poisoning attack.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands near law enforcement agents in a hallway of a business centre, which houses the office of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), in Moscow on 26 December 2019. Russian police on 26 December 2019 conducted fresh searches at Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's anti-corruption foundation, with his team calling the raid a new bid to disrupt their work. Picture: AFP/Dimitar Dilkoff

Washington – The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on seven senior Russians as it said its intelligence concluded that Moscow was behind the poisoning of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

In action coordinated with the EU, the United States renewed demands that Russia free Navalny, who was arrested in January upon his return to Moscow as he spurred massive rallies through his allegations of corruption by President Vladimir Putin.

“The intelligence community assesses with high confidence that officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service FSB used a nerve agent known as Novichok to poison Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on August 20, 2020,” a senior US official said.

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Officials said that the United States would impose sanctions on “seven senior members of the Russian government” with the details expected to be released later Tuesday.

They also said that the United States would restrict exports to Russia as it vowed that President Joe Biden would take a harder line than his predecessor Donald Trump, who voiced admiration for Putin.

“We’re sending a clear signal to Russia that there are clear consequences to the use of chemical weapons,” another official said.

Navalny, 44, fell violently ill when he was on a domestic flight.

He was rushed to treatment in Germany where doctors said he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent developed by Soviet researchers and which was also blamed in a 2018 attack in England against Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter and Yulia.


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