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Biden says US considering new sanctions on Russia over Navalny’s death

by Kateryna Denisova February 20, 2024 12:00 AM 3 min read
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is seen on a screen via a video link during the verdict in his embezzlement and contempt of court trial at the IK-2 prison colony in the town of Pokrov in Vladimir Region on March 22, 2022. (Photo by NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP via Getty Images)
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U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters at the White House he is considering additional sanctions against Russia over the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, CBS News reported on Feb. 19.

Navalny, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin's main political opponent, died on Feb. 16 in a penal colony in the town of Kharp, Yamal Nenets Autonomous District. He had been convicted in several fabricated criminal cases as part of the Kremlin's crackdown on dissent.

Leaders around the world have blamed Putin for his death. Opinions differ on whether his death was caused by the harsh prison conditions or was an intentional murder.

The Russian government is still refusing to give Navalny's family access to his body.

Biden, who had previously stated Putin was responsible for Navalny's death, said that "we already have sanctions" but confirmed he is weighing new ones.

In 2021 Biden warned that there would be "devastating" consequences if Navalny died in jail.

However, he appeared to mitigate his position when asked about his warning on Feb. 16. He said that the U.S. had already imposed devastating sanctions on Russia before Navalny's death.

"We're contemplating what else can be done," Biden said then. "We're looking at a whole number of options, that's all I'll say right now."

Alexei Navalny’s life and death as main opponent to Putin regime
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death on Feb. 16 did not come as a surprise for those familiar with Russian politics. Navalny was Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s main opponent, and the Kremlin had used all the tools at its disposal to shut him up. He was sentenced in several fabricate…

The US and EU imposed a series of sanctions on Moscow after Navalny was poisoned in Russia in 2020 with a Novichok nerve agent — a chemical weapon produced by the Russian government.

After the poisoning, Navalny was flown for treatment to Germany, and German doctors said he had been poisoned with Novichok.

The Insider, Bellingcat, CNN, and Der Spiegel published an investigation according to which Navalny had been poisoned by agents of Russia’s Federal Security Service. They also identified the agents' names.

The EU's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, also said on Feb. 19 that EU member states would propose sanctions against those behind Navalny's death. Borrell said that Putin was the one ultimately responsible, and the EU's potential sanctions "can go down to the institutional structure of the penitentiary system in Russia."

He did not clarify what concrete actions would be taken.

Navalny had been serving a 2.5-year prison sentence since 2021 and a separate 9-year sentence on fraud charges since 2022.

A Russian court also sentenced Navalny to 19 years in a maximum security prison in August 2023 on extremism charges for creating the Anti-Corruption Foundation.

All these cases have been recognized as politically motivated and fabricated by international human rights organizations and governments.

Navalny’s death preceded by long list of Putin critics’ murders
Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s death in jail on Feb. 16 follows a long list of murders and suspicious deaths of opponents of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. Since he came to power in 1999, more than 20 Putin critics have been killed or died mysteriously. Many other enemies of the

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