Navalny's poisoning & imprisonment are illegal

  • Navalny's poisoning & imprisonment are illegal

Navalny's poisoning & imprisonment are illegal

The US has imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Tuesday's sanctions would be the first of several steps by the Biden administration to "respond to a number of destabilizing actions", said one of the administration officials, who briefed reporters on the condition they not be identified further.

Who was targeted in the sanctions?

"We expect this relationship to be a challenge and it's one that we are prepared for", the official said.

Speaking at a news conference in Geneva on Monday, United Nations special rapporteurs Agnès Callamard and Irene Khan said they had reached the same conclusion that "Russia is responsible for the attempted arbitrary killing of Mr. Navalny".

This is the first step by the Biden administration to respond to what it calls Russia's "malign" activity.

The Council of the European Union formally imposed penalties on the head of Russia's investigative committee, Alexander Bastrykin; the prosecutor-general, Igor Krasnov; the head of the national guard, Viktor Zolotov; and the head of the federal prison service, Alexander Kalashnikov, for "their roles in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of" Navalny, according to a statement, "as well as the repression of peaceful protests in connection with his unlawful treatment".

Navalny's arrest and imprisonment have fueled a huge wave of protests across Russian Federation.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Kremlin condemned moves to impose sanctions. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Vladimir Chizov, Russia's envoy to the European Union, said Moscow would respond to the latest round of European Union sanctions imposed, the state-owned RIA news agency reported.

Russian Federation critic Bill Browder, a London-based investor, tweeted that he feared the new US sanctions would be "way too little and not touch Putin's billionaire cronies". The U.S. measures include sanctions on seven senior Russian officials - whom the White House did not identify - as well as an expansion of sanctions under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act, new export restrictions on items that could be used for biological agent and chemical production, and visa restrictions, Biden administration officials said.

What about "Putin's billionaire cronies"?

"And those were the people who would affect Putin's actions going forward", he said, adding that those are also the people who Navalny had called to be sanctioned before he was arrested.

Navalny was poisoned and fell into a coma during a flight to Siberia last August.

The measures, emphasizing the use of the Russian nerve agent as a banned chemical weapon, marked the Biden administration's first sanctions against associates of President Vladimir Putin.

The term Novichok - "newcomer" in Russian - applies to a group of nerve agents developed in a lab by the Soviet Union during the Cold War.

Then US Vice President Joe Biden, left, shakes hands with then Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Russia, March 10, 2011. After months of recuperation in Germany, Navalny flew home to Moscow in January and was arrested upon arrival for an alleged parole violation.

Navalny has been transferred to a Russian penal colony to begin serving a sentence.

The EU, which already had imposed sanctions against a small number of Russian officials, is expected to announce more sanctions.

The US has also said it plans to respond soon to the Russian hack of federal government agencies and US corporations which exposed potentially sensitive information to the Kremlin.

Mr Biden has pledged to confront Mr Putin for alleged attacks on Russian opposition figures and hacking overseas, including of U.S. government agencies and USA businesses.