U.S. Working on More Russia Sanctions Over Navalny Poisoning
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. is preparing additional sanctions against Russia for the poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said.
President Joe Biden said he raised Navalny’s case with Russian President Vladimir Putin during their summit last week and made it clear to him that Russia would face “devastating” consequences if Navalny died in prison. While Putin sought to caution the U.S. against expanding sanctions, Sullivan’s comments point in that direction.
“We rallied European allies in a joint effort to impose costs on Russia for the use of a chemical agent against one of their citizens on Russian soil,” Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. “And we are preparing another package of sanctions to apply in this case as well.”
The Biden administration announced its first sanctions against Russia in March, punishing the Kremlin for the poisoning and jailing of Navalny. Those penalties aligned the U.S. with the European Union in targeting Russian law enforcement officials and matched sanctions the EU and the U.K. imposed on other Russians allied with Putin.
Sullivan didn’t specify the timing or the substance of any expanded sanctions.
“It will come as soon as we have developed the packages to ensure that we are getting the right targets,” he said. “And when we do that, we will impose further sanctions with respect to chemical weapons.”
Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, played down the impact of new punitive measures, saying it was “primitive” to assume that they meant efforts to improve ties with the U.S. at the Geneva summit had failed.
“The constructive and positive results of the summit are absolutely not a sign that the U.S. will give up its policy of containing Russia,” Peskov said on a conference call with reporters Monday. He said Russia was aware of the planned moves, noting that some of the latest sanctions were “codified” in U.S. law and don’t depend on the president’s will.
Still, the ruble fell to a two-week low Monday, extending losses from Friday.
The U.S. also will maintain sanctions against Russian entities involved in building the almost-completed Nord Stream 2 pipeline for Russian natural-gas deliveries to Germany, which Biden needs to confirm every 90 days, Sullivan said.
“He has done that, and he will continue to do that,” the national security adviser said.
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