U.S. to Announce ‘Major’ Sanctions Friday Over Navalny Death

U.S. President Joe Biden discusses the reported death of Alexei Navalny in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 16, 2024. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)

WASHINGTON (Bloomberg News/TNS) — The U.S. plans to unveil a “major” sanctions package against Russia on Friday following the death of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, President Joe Biden said.

“I told you we’d be announcing sanctions on Russia. We’ll have a major package announced on Friday,” Biden told reporters Tuesday at the White House.

White House spokesman John Kirby said in a briefing earlier Tuesday the sanctions would be designed “to hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny.”

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the “substantial package” of financial penalties will “come on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the Ukraine war.” He said they would cover “different elements of the Russian defense-industrial base and sources of revenue for the Russian economy” that fuel Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “war machine” and “repression.”

Biden has said Putin was responsible for the death of Navalny, 47, a prominent voice against the Russian leader who had been imprisoned in the Arctic. In 2021, Biden said he had warned Putin during a summit meeting in Geneva of significant consequences if Navalny were to die in prison.

The U.S. has already imposed significant sanctions impacting large swaths of Russia’s economy and prominent officials following the invasion of Ukraine, so it’s unclear whether the new measures would have a practical effect on Moscow.

Kirby said the U.S. embassy in Russia is engaged with authorities there to call for “complete transparency” about the specific cause of Navalny’s death. But he expressed little confidence Washington would be able to determine it.

“Not setting aside the fact that, regardless of the of the actual scientific answer, Mr. Putin is responsible for it. But absent some credible investigation into his death, it’s hard to get to a point where we can just take the Russians’ word for it,” Kirby said.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!