The U.S. has issued sanctions against Russia following an investigation into the poisoning of political opposition leader Alex Navalny earlier last year. Navalny has since been arrested by the Russian government and sentenced to over two years in prison for what they alleged was “parole violation.” It was announced on Tuesday that seven governmental leaders and 14 others involved in the “chemical and biological” industry in Russia have been sanctioned by the U.S., while four officials were sanctioned by the European Union. “Today is the first such response, and there will be more to come…We reiterate our call for the Russian government to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Navalny.”” stated a senior White House official. An investigation concluded that “Russia’s Federal Security Service used the Russian nerve agent Novichok” on Navalny last summer, nearly costing him his life.
“Russian officials have targeted Mr. Navalny for his activism and efforts to reveal uncomfortable truths about Russian officials’ corruption. We’re exercising our authorities to send a clear signal that Russia’s use of chemical weapons and violation of its international human rights commitments have severe consequences.”Senior Biden Administration Official
Both sides of the aisle support actions against Russia, but many believe that the sanctions are not enough. Political activist Bill Browder agreed that they are “way too little” and argued that they need “to go after Putin’s billionaire cronies if they have any hope of hitting [Putin] where it hurts.” One twitter commenter agreed that the actions are barely a “tap on the knukcles.”
“After Russia tries to murder the opposition leader and smacks thousands peacefully demonstrating, the EU will sanction FOUR Russian individuals. This is a joke, Putin must be laughing.”Jakub Janda, Director for European Values Center for Security Policy
Many on the Left have praised Biden though. Progressive author Majid Padellan tweeted, “Once again we have a spine in the Oval Office. FINALLY.”
The Russian government has previously warned that sanctions would not achieve the desired goal and would only “worsen already strained relations.”