The United States and European Union are expected to impose coordinated sanctions on Russia as early as Tuesday for the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the arrest and detention that followed, three sources familiar with the planning told NBC News. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not otherwise authorized to speak to the press.
The sanctions will be the Biden administration’s first to target Moscow since coming into office and opening a comprehensive review of U.S- Russia policy including the Kremlin’s actions against Navalny, interference into the election, the Solarwinds hack and reported bounties offered to Taliban linked groups to target U.S. forces in Afghanistan. The Trump administration had declined to take action against Russia for the attempted assassination of the Russian opposition leader.
The U.S. is expected to use legal authorities to impose sanctions on Russia for their use of a chemical nerve agent against Navalny in August, a senior administration official, congressional aide and Western diplomat told NBC News. Toxicology tests conducted in Germany, France and Sweden and by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) found that Navalny was poisoned with a novel form of the Novichok nerve agent in violation of the Chemical Weapons convention. The Kremlin has denied any involvement in the attack.
Upon his return to Russia in January, Navalny was arrested and sentenced to more than two years in jail and has been transferred to a penal colony.
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