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Business News/ News / World/  Russia to face new US sanctions after death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny
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Russia to face new US sanctions after death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny

The United States will announce new sanctions on Russia on Friday over the death in prison of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, coinciding with the two-year anniversary of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the White House said.

Flowers and a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny are seen following Navalny's death, as people gather near the Russian embassy in Paris, France (REUTERS)Premium
Flowers and a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny are seen following Navalny's death, as people gather near the Russian embassy in Paris, France (REUTERS)

The United States will announce new sanctions on Russia on Friday over the death in prison of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, coinciding with the two-year anniversary of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, the White House said.

"At President Biden's direction, we will be announcing a major sanctions package on Friday of this week to hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr Navalny," National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.

He said the sanctions would also be in response to "all its actions over the course of this vicious and brutal war that has now raged on for two years."

Russia on Friday announced the death of Navalny, a persistent critic of President Vladimir Putin who survived a 2020 poisoning, at a remote prison in the Arctic where the anti-corruption campaigner was serving a 19-year sentence.

"Whatever story the Russian government decides to tell the world, it's clear President Putin and his government are responsible for Mr Navalny's death," Kirby said.

"Absent some credible investigation into his death," Kirby said, "it's hard to get to a point where we can just take the Russians' word for it."

"We're calling for complete transparency by the Russian government for how he died."

Kirby declined to elaborate on the sanctions ahead of Friday's announcement.

The United States and its allies have imposed a slew of sanctions on Russia since it invaded Ukraine in February 2022, including restrictions on technology, blocking of financial assets and an official cap on the selling price of Russian oil.

Russia's economy nonetheless is expected to post growth this year, if modestly. Russia last week also won its first major gain on the ground since May, seizing Avdiivka in the eastern Donetsk region.

Moscow's success came as Ukrainian troops were forced to ration ammunition, with the US Congress deadlocked on President Joe Biden's requests for more assistance to help fight back Russia.

Kirby said Ukraine made a "wise decision" to withdraw forces from Avdiivka and again pressed Congress to approve assistance.

"If the Ukrainians aren't better supplied, if they don't get a relief from the shortage of ammunition that they are suffering right now, this move on Avdiivka could actually have a larger effect on the fighting in the east and the amount of territory that the Russians might be able to get over time," Kirby said.

House Speaker Mike Johnson has declined to put assistance up to a vote under pressure from Biden's likely election rival, former president Donald Trump, who has suggested that aid is wasteful as Russia will eventually win.

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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 12:10 AM IST
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