U.S. Sanctions Russian Government For Poisoning Opposition Leader Aleksei Navalny
In one of the strongest moves against the Russian government in U.S. history, President Joe Biden announced heavy sanctions against the country for orchestrating the assassination of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny in September.
The U.S. joins the European Union which on Monday ordered current sanctions on Russia be expanded as a result of the government’s assassination attempt. The sanctions, however, do not directly cite Russian President Vladimir Putin nor intelligence leaders as the perpetrators. The U.S. sanctions point to Russia’s Federalnaya Sluzhba Bezopasnosti (F.S.B.), its federal security service.
U.S. intelligence officials now agree with early reports that Navalny was stricken with the chemical agent Novichok, which has been used several times in Russian government-orchestrated assassinations.
Tuesday’s sanctions are the first implemented by the Biden administration. Unlike past presidential efforts to “reset” America’s relationship with Russia, Biden has been swift to denounce the growing authoritarianism under Putin. Biden is also expected to mount further pressure on Russia after U.S. intelligence agencies determined Russian hackers committed a sweeping cyberattack on more than 100 American companies in 2020, known as the “SolarWinds” hack.
The Treasury Department is expected to release a list of sanctions later this week as well as a list of Russian diplomats who are likely to be expelled from the United States.