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Saturday, May 15, 2021

U.S. to sanction Russia over Navalny - sources

Duration: 01:32s 0 shares 5 views
U.S. to sanction Russia over Navalny - sources
U.S. to sanction Russia over Navalny - sources

The United States is expected to impose sanctions to punish Russia for the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny as early as Tuesday, two sources familiar with the matter said.

Flora Bradley-Watson reports.

The U.S. is preparing to slap targeted sanctions on Russians connected to the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

That's according to two sources who told Reuters the measures could come as early as Tuesday.

Navalny fell ill on a flight in Siberia in August and was airlifted to Germany, where doctors concluded he had been poisoned with a nerve agent.

Navalny has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of ordering his murder, but the Kremlin has denied any involvement.

If President Joe Biden goes ahead with the sanctions, it would mark a clear departure from the approach to Russia taken by his predecessor.

Donald Trump, who left office in January, let last summer's incident pass without any punitive U.S. action.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the possibility of sanctions.

A source said the U.S. action may be coordinated with sanctions the European Union is planning to apply.

Last month, EU foreign ministers agreed to target four close allies of Putin with asset freezes and travel bans.

Navalny returned to Russia in January and was immediately arrested.

He's currently serving a two and a half year jail sentence for violating the terms of his parole for a 2014 fraud conviction.

On Sunday, it emerged he had been transferred to a penal colony outside Moscow known for its severe conditions.

Biden has called the jailing of Navalny "politically motivated," and has pledged to take a tougher approach to Moscow.

He said the U.S. would no longer be "rolling over" in the face of aggressive action by Russia.