Tue, 13 Apr 2021

US slaps sanctions against Russian officials

03 Mar 2021, 02:55 GMT+10

Washington [US], March 2 (ANI): US President Joe Biden's administration has slapped sanctions on seven Russian officials in response to the poisoning and imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny.

This was among a series of steps the new administration had announced on Tuesday in its first significant move against Moscow, according to CNN.

Senior administration officials told CNN that it was being done in coordination with allies like the European Union, which also unveiled sanctions today. The State Department is mirroring previous EU and UK sanctions and expanding sanctions under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Act that had first been imposed over its poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal, one official said.

Furthermore, the Commerce Department will add 14 parties to the entities list for their engagement "in activities that are contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests," another official said.

"Specifically these parties are all involved in various aspects of biological agents production and chemical production," CNN quoted officials.

One senior administration official referred to the August 2020 poisoning of Navalny as an attempted assassination and another noted that the intelligence community had assessed with high confidence that Russia's security service, the FSB, had poisoned the opposition leader with the nerve agent Novichok.

"The tone and substance of our conversations with Russia and our conversations about Russia will be very different from what you saw in the previous administration," one of the officials said.

They did not name the targets of these sanctions.

Politicians from across the world have condemned the Moscow Court's sentence of Russian President Vladimir Putin's critic Navalny and have called for his release.

A Moscow court had sent him to prison for more than two-and-a-half years. CNN reported the verdict was announced after a heated hearing in which the Kremlin critic ridiculed claims that he broke his parole conditions while in a coma and denounced Russia's leader as "Putin the poisoner."The Putin critic was previously handed a three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence for violating probations in a fraud case.

Navalny was initially detained by the Russian state in January following his arrival from Germany, where he spent five months recovering from Novichok poisoning he blamed on the Russian government. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the incident. (ANI)

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