The US has concluded that Russian intelligence agencies were behind the poisoning of Alexey Navalny and will impose sanctions on multiple senior government officials.
Names of seven members of the Russian government to be sanctioned will be revealed later today by the treasury department. They will be blocked from accessing financial assets in the US.
In addition, the commerce department will add 14 parties to a list of entities engaged in “activities that are contrary to US national security and foreign policy interests”, CNN reports an official as saying.
These parties were involved in aspects of the production of biological and chemical agents.
Export restrictions will also be expanded on items that could be used in the manufacturing process of chemical weapons under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Act. This mirrors moves by the European Union and the UK.
The new sanctions are based on the findings of US intelligence investigations into the poisoning of Mr Navalny in August 2020. They found with “high confidence” that the Russian state had ordered the attack using the nerve agent Novichok.
Senior US government officials told reporters that the Biden administration is not doing a “reset” and that they expect the relationship with Russia to be “challenging”.
“How challenging it is will depend on whether Russia continues to take actions that are outside the norms of international behavior.”