The United States is imposing sanctions on seven senior members of the Russian government and 14 entities over the case of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, a senior Biden administration official said during a press briefing on Tuesday.
“Today, as part of a robust inter-agency response to the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, the Treasury Department is designating seven senior members of the Russian government,” the official said. “Later today, we will have on public display … an additional 14 parties to our entity list. Thirteen of these parties are commercial parties – nine in Russia, three in Germany, and one in Switzerland – and one is a government research institute.”
According to the official, the 14 entities are involved in biological and chemical agents production.
The official declined to reveal the names of the designated individuals, but pointed out the list includes people that have been mentioned by Navalny supporters.
The imposition of today’s sanctions is only the first step the United States prepares to take in response to the alleged poisoning of Navalny, the official said.
“We have requested new or declassified intelligence community assessments in four areas, and plan to respond to each of them in the coming weeks. Today is the first-step response, and there will be more to come,” the official said.
The sanctions include personal, trade and visa restrictions.
The official noted that the United States believes the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) used a nerve agent to poison Navalny in August last year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said in December that a preliminary investigation was opened, but an actual investigation could not be launched amid the lack of substantiating materials while the Western countries ignored Russia’s requests for aid on the case.
In January, Navalny returned to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for the alleged poisoning, and was arrested upon arrival at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport. Shortly after, a Moscow court rescinded Navalny’s suspended sentence in the 2014 Yves Rocher fraud case over multiple probation breaches and replaced it with a three-and-a-half-year prison term.