US To Hit Moscow With New “Major Sanctions Package” Over Navalny’s Death

Russia has already been subject of the most steadily applied US and EU sanctions regimen on earth over the last two years due to the Ukraine war. But in the wake of Alexei Navaly’s reported death in a far northern Russian prison, which Western officials are blaming “dictator” President Putin for, Washington is about to roll out with… more sanctions — which it should be noted are “major”. 

US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Tuesday previewed what he’s calling a “major sanctions package” targeting Moscow in response to Navalny’s death.

via Fox News

The new sanctions, to be formally unveiled Friday, will “hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny, and quite frankly, for all its actions over the course of this vicious and brutal war that has now raged on for two years.”

An course the administration hasn’t missed the opportunity to tell House Republicans they must pass Biden’s massive $60 billion for Ukraine defense aid bill.

“One of the most powerful things that we can do right now to stand up to Vladimir Putin, of course, is to, again, pass the bipartisan national security supplemental bill and support Ukraine as they continue to fight bravely and assess their country,” Kirby continued in his remarks to reporters on a conference call.

The White House is talking about various ‘options’ in terms of consequences for the Russian opposition activist’s death in custody

In 2021, Biden told reporters that if Navalny died, the consequences for Russia would be “devastating.” Asked directly about that on Friday, the president said his remark was three years ago, and they’ve faced “a hell of a lot of consequences” since then.

Biden directly blamed Russia for Navalny’s death and said: “We’re contemplating what else can be done,” adding, “We’re looking at a whole number of options.”

In Europe, various governments’ embassies have been summoning the resident Russian ambassador to condemn Navalny’s death and gain answers. Poland was the latest to summon the Russian ambassador Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Navalny’s widow, Yulia Navalnaya, has quickly become spokesperson for her husband’s cause, having addressed the Munich Security Council over the weekend. While she’s relatively unknown, over the past days since her husband’s death Western media has been highlighting her words of denunciation aimed at Putin and Moscow. Putin “killed the father of my children,” she’s told press briefings.

On Tuesday there was brief controversy over her X account being briefly suspended

X, formerly Twitter, said the site’s defense mechanism against manipulation and spam had “mistakenly flagged” Navalnaya’s account as violating its rules.

“We unsuspended the account as soon as we became aware of the error, and will be updating the defense,” X Safety said in a post on Tuesday.

Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation had earlier tagged Elon Musk in a post to ask “exactly which rules were violated” by Navalnaya. Accounts of Navalny’s allies, such as spokesperson Kira Yarmysh, did not appear to have been affected.

Navalny had been serving a 19-year sentence on charges of extremism and corruption. His supporters say these are all trumped-up charges while Russian media has at various times suggested he’s a CIA-supported opposition stooge.

President Biden has said he bravely “stood up” to the “bad things” of the Putin government. Biden described that he had been “poisoned, arrested, sent him to prison, sent him to isolation.. a powerful voice for the truth.” 

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