US hits Russian officials & organizations with new blacklist sanctions over Navalny jailing & alleged ‘chemical weapons’ claims

US hits Russian officials & organizations with new blacklist sanctions over Navalny jailing & alleged ‘chemical weapons’ claims

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The United States has imposed sanctions on Russian officials and businesses as part of a growing row over the imprisonment of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, President Joe Biden’s administration told reporters on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists during a conference call, a spokesperson said that the new measures had been introduced as part of a coordinated move with the European Union. Brussels also announced a package of penalties on Tuesday against Russian officials it deemed responsible for Navalny’s arrest and for “human rights” abuses during the policing of subsequent protests.

However, while Brussels published the names of four public servants who will now face restrictions, Washington has not yet publicized the list of those it will target.

Likewise, American sanctions are reportedly expected against 14 separate organizations which will face export bans and other sanctions. While nine are Russian businesses, three are based in Germany and one is in Switzerland. The final entity is said to be a state research institute.

Those affected are, Washington says, engaged in “the production of biological and chemical weapons,” as well as “activities that are contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests.”

An unnamed official told reporters that “the United States is neither seeking to reset our relations with Russia, nor are we seeking to escalate.”

“We believe that the United States and our partners must be clear and impose costs when Russia’s behavior crosses boundaries that are respected by responsible nations, and we believe there should be guard rails on how these adversarial aspects of our relationship play out,” the spokesperson said.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that the Western measures are “illegitimate and unilateral, of the kind our American colleagues, and the EU members who follow their example, almost always resort to without any reason.”__RT.com

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