The move, though largely symbolic, represents an abrupt departure from the way President Donald Trump approached Russia, White House officials say.


THE WHITE HOUSE ON Tuesday announced new sanctions against Russia for imprisoning dissident activist Alexei Navalny, representing the first punitive salvo from the Biden administration against Moscow.
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Officials speaking on the condition of anonymity told reporters Tuesday morning that the sanctions would freeze financial assets in the U.S. belonging to members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most trusted inner circles. Though largely symbolic, the move is designed to send a message to Russia that President Joe Biden plans to take a much more aggressive approach to relations between the two powers than his predecessor, the officials said.
The actions “send a clear signal that Russia’s use of chemical weapons and violation of international human rights commitments have severe consequences,” an official said.
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The announcement followed similar sanctions the EU imposed earlier on Tuesday and comes a day after reports that Navalny had been sent to a notoriously harsh and abusive prison camp known as Penal Colony №2, or by its initials IK2, in a region east of Moscow. Navalny returned to Russia in January after recovering in Germany from a poisoning involving Russian military-grade nerve agent last year that his legal team says was orchestrated by Putin. He was sentenced last month to almost three years in prison for what his team considers trumped up charges, prompting widespread protests.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said early Tuesday in anticipation of the American sanctions that, if enacted, Russia would reciprocate. He called the U.S. and EU sanctions “illegitimate” and an example of common behavior the West employs “for no reason.”
“Instead of honestly cooperating,” Lavrov said, according to a translation of his remarks, “they begin to punish us.”
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The Russian government has repeatedly denied any involvement in Navalny’s poisoning, though the style and method of attack matches previous attempts to target Russian dissidents that have been attributed to state security forces. The Kremlin also has not explained the conspicuous number of federal security operatives dispatched to the hospital in Siberia where Navalny was first treated.
Navalny is the most high-profile domestic critic of Putin and regularly exposes what he considers acts of corruption from Russia’s leaders. In January, his team released evidence it believes proves Putin commissioned a lavish $1.4 billion complex on the Black Sea coast beneath a federal no-fly zone, a move that reportedly infuriated the Russian leader.!-watch-demon-slayer-kimetsu-no-yaiba-mugen-train-online-full-hd-free—603f081794d16c327c427f7d
Paul D. Shinkman, Senior Writer, National Security
Paul Shinkman is a national security correspondent. He joined U.S. News & World Report in 2012 … READ MORE
Tags: Joe Biden, Vladimir Putin, Russia, United States, White House, human rights, world, world news