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World U.S. Matches EU, U.K. Sanctions on Russia for Navalny Attack

17:01  02 march  2021
17:01  02 march  2021 Source:   bloomberg.com

'No Law in Russia Right Now': Navalny Supporters React After Court Rejects Jail Term Appeal

  'No Law in Russia Right Now': Navalny Supporters React After Court Rejects Jail Term Appeal "The government's task is to scare you and then persuade you that you are alone. Our Voldemort in his palace also wants me to feel cut off," Putin critic Alexei Navalny said Saturday.Navalny, a high-profile Kremlin critic who has long rebuked Russian President Vladimir Putin, was handed a defeat Saturday against what he described as a politically motivated decision to jail him for nearly three years for allegedly violating probation.

(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration announced its first sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, punishing the Kremlin for the poisoning and jailing of opposition leader Alexey Navalny in a sign of deepening tensions between the nuclear powers.

Alexei Navalny standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands inside a glass cell during a court hearing at the Babushkinsky district court in Moscow on February 20, 2021. © Photographer: KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny stands inside a glass cell during a court hearing at the Babushkinsky district court in Moscow on February 20, 2021.

The penalties -- like those adopted by the European Union -- target senior Russian law enforcement officials, as well as matching sanctions the EU and the U.K. imposed earlier on other Russians allied with President Vladimir Putin in response to the attempted murder of Navalny.

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The sanctions will help set the tone for Joe Biden’s relationship with Putin, whom the new U.S. president has said he will treat as more of an adversary than his predecessor, Donald Trump, did. The ruble recovered sharply after Bloomberg News reported the actions, reversing earlier losses as investors were encouraged by the sanctions’ relatively narrow scope.

The U.S. demands the release of Navalny, his allies and others wrongfully detained in Russia and an end to the persecution of his supporters, one senior administration official told reporters in a briefing.

Viktor Zolotov, the head of Russia’s National Guard; Igor Krasnov, the country’s prosecutor general; Alexander Kalashnikov, the Federal Penitentiary Service chief; and Alexander Bastrykin, who leads the country’s Investigative Committee, are the targets of the EU’s latest penalties, according to Peter Stano, foreign affairs spokesman for the EU.

Amnesty International removes Alexei Navalny's 'prisoner of conscience' status

  Amnesty International removes Alexei Navalny's 'prisoner of conscience' status Amnesty International stripped Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny of his "prisoner of conscience" status in response to past comments, saying he "advocated violence and discrimination and he has not retracted such statements."The group confirmed Wednesday that it received enough complaints to warrant action against the Vladimir Putin critic, who, months ago, survived an assassination attempt by poisoning and is now in prison for charges in Russia that Navalny claims are politically motivated.

The 27 EU member states formally adopted the sanctions on Tuesday, Stano said. The measures will be published in the afternoon, he said.

“The EU has been clear and consistent in its condemnation of the continuous deterioration of the human rights situation in Russia in general and the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of Mr Navalny in particular,” Stano said in an email. “A strong and united reaction from our international partners sharing the same values as the EU can only reinforce the effectiveness of our actions and help reach the desired result.”

The U.S. measures will involve the State, Treasury and Commerce Departments, a senior administration official said in the briefing.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia would “definitely respond” to the new restrictions, though he didn’t elaborate.

The targets of EU and U.K. asset freezes and travel bans in October were Aleksandr Bortnikov, leader of Russia’s domestic spy agency; Sergei Kiriyenko, first deputy chief of staff in the presidential administration; Andrei Yarin, head of the presidential administration’s domestic policy directorate; Aleksei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov, two deputy ministers of defense; and Sergei Menyaylo, Putin’s envoy to the Siberian Federal District.

Russia's Navalny moved to prison as Amnesty changes his status

  Russia's Navalny moved to prison as Amnesty changes his status Putin foe's relocation to an undisclosed prison comes as Amnesty International faces a backlash over a dubiously timed decision to delist him as a "prisoner of conscience."Navalny's lawyer Vadim Kobzev said on Thursday that he went to visit the Kremlin critic in a Moscow detention facility, but was told he had been moved. The head of the national prison service later confirmed Navalny's transfer to a penal colony, but wouldn't say which one he'd been sent to.

The bloc and the U.K. also froze the assets of one Russian entity: the State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology.

Navalny returned to Russia in January after being treated in Germany for a nerve agent attack. He was detained shortly after landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. Western governments and Navalny have accused the Kremlin of being behind the attempted assassination. Russia denies that and has said that Navalny’s imprisonment is an internal matter.

Last month, Biden called for Navalny’s release, saying he was “targeted for exposing corruption and should be released immediately and without condition.”

Since then, Navalny has been sentenced and begun serving a two-and-a-half-year term. Last week, he was moved to a notorious penal camp in the Vladimir region about 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of the Russian capital.

Read more: Russia Sends Navalny to Notorious Penal Camp Feared by Inmates

During his first call with the Russian leader, in late January, Biden said he “made it clear to President Putin in a manner very different from my predecessor that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russia’s aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyber attacks, poisoning citizens are over.”

Biden called the jailing of Navalny “politically motivated.” His administration also has Moscow in its sights for what U.S. intelligence agencies indicate was Russia’s likely role in the SolarWinds Corp. cyber attack.

One of the senior administration officials said that punitive actions related to the SolarWinds hack would likely be announced within weeks.

(Updates with EU confirming sanctions beginning in fifth paragraph.)

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©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

Russia slams 'hostile' new U.S. sanctions and vows to retaliate .
Moscow rejected new sanctions imposed on it by the U.S. late Tuesday, describing the restrictions led by President Joe Biden's administration as "hostile."Russia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said last night that it would retaliate against what it said was a "counterproductive" act that aggravated bilateral relations further.

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