- The imposition of sanctions on Russia is the first major step of Biden’s administration.
- The sanctions have been imposed in coordination with the EU.
- The director of the FSB security service has also been imposed sanctions.
- Nearly, 13 companies and entities have been targeted by the US.
- The US intelligence community has concluded that Russia’s FSB was behind the attack on Navalny.
- The Kremlin has questioned the Western powers what they would achieve through sanctions.
On Tuesday, Biden’s administration along with the European Union imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. This is the first major step against Russia after President Joe Biden took over the office. The officials of the White House confirmed the news adding that the sanctions were imposed in coordination with the EU. “We urge the release of Alexei Navalny,” they added.
Addressing the media, Biden announced that he will be freezing any US assets and criminalizing transactions with seven senior Russians including the director of the FSB security service. These individuals included including Krasnov and Kalashnikov.
Meanwhile, the EU imposed bans on travel and froze the assets in Europe of Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Igor Krasnov, the prosecutor general, Viktor Zolotov, head of the National Guard, and Alexander Kalashnikov, head of the Federal Prison Service. Nearly, 13 companies and entities have been targeted by the US. These companies are said to be involved in the production of biological and chemical agents.
While issuing the sanctions, the US mentioned that its intelligence community has concluded that Russia’s FSB was behind the attack on Navalny. The sanctions issued by the EU primarily concerned Navalny’s arrest upon his return to Russia. On the other hand, the US Commerce Department also blacklisted 14 companies or entities for export controls.
The Department fears that these companies could help Russia develop chemical weapons. “The US government has exercised its authorities to send a clear signal that Russia’s use of chemical weapons and abuse of human rights has severe consequences,” said Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Previously, Navalny was in Germany where he was under treatment after being poisoned. The doctors treating him in Germany said he had been poisoned with Novichok, a nerve agent developed by Soviet researchers. The nerve agent was also blamed in a 2018 attack in England against Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. Later, in January, he had returned but he was arrested and then sent to a penal colony.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin has denied responsibility for Navalny’s ill health and on Tuesday asked Western powers what they would achieve through sanctions. “The answer will be obvious. Such a policy does not achieve its goals,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.