Biden Administration Announces New Sanctions On Russia

( – The Biden administration has announced new upcoming sanctions against Russia. The sanctions aim to punish Moscow for the death of Putin critic and opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who died in mid-February under mysterious circumstances. Mr. Navalny was imprisoned in January 2021 when he returned to his home country after receiving medical treatment in Germany.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters that the sanctions package would be “substantial” and target “sources of revenue for the Russian economy.”

President Biden blames Navalny’s death on Vladimir Putin, saying the Russian leader has a propensity to commit crimes against his people. Admitting he did not know exact details, Biden said there is “no doubt” that Putin’s “thugs” were involved.

News of Navalny’s death was met with condemnation from Western leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron, who said free spirits in Russia are still captured in “the gulag.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz recounted meeting Mr. Navalny in Germany, adding that he had paid for his courage with his life.

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky issued a statement saying it was “obvious” that Putin had him killed. “Putin should lose everything and answer for what he has done,” Zelensky said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for a complete and credible investigation, while British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described Navalny as a fierce advocate for Russian democracy who demonstrated “incredible courage.”

Republican Presidential candidate Nikki Haley condemned Donald Trump for failing to lay the blame at Putin’s door, saying he “continues to side with” the Russian leader.

The EU has likewise issued new sanctions in the wake of Navalny’s death, which specifically target companies in mainland China for the first time and aim to tackle circumvention schemes that allow China to supply Russia with forbidden assets – particularly military equipment. Turkey and North Korea are also implicated, but the European sanctions do not explicitly name Mr. Navalny.

EU Commission President Ursula Van Der Leyen said she welcomed the plans and reiterated the EU’s determination to “degrade” Russia’s “war machine.”

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