Brussels (Brussels Morning) The EU and the US have imposed sanctions against Russian officials and companies over the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, DW reported on Tuesday.
Senior White House officials noted that the US imposed the sanctions in coordination with the EU and had called on Russia to release Navalny.
According to US intelligence officials, the Russian government was involved in the attack on Navalny with a nerve agent.
An unnamed US official noted “the intelligence community assesses with high confidence that officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) used a nerve agent known as Novichok to poison Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on 20 August 2020″.
The poisoning and its aftermath
After falling ill on a flight in Russia in August last year, Navalny was transported to Berlin for treatment. He spent months in recovery there and returned to Russia on 17 January, when he was arrested for a parole violation.
The arrest sparked demonstrations across Russia, with authorities arresting thousands of protesters.
According to tests conducted by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and labs in France, Germany and Sweden, Navalny was exposed to a Novichok nerve agent.
Several countries have accused President Putin’s security services of having a role in the attack.
Frozen assets and travel bans
To date, the EU has frozen assets and imposed travel bans on Alexander Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov, National Guard Director Viktor Zolotov and Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) head Aleksandr Kalashnikov.
US officials stated that sanctions have been imposed under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act against 13 companies, mostly for their involvement in the production of chemical and biological agents.
They added that the US also plans to respond to the Russian hacking of federal agencies and private companies, which jeopardized potentially sensitive information.