The United States, along with the United Kingdom, continue to impose additional costs on Russia for the state-sponsored poisoning of Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny.
The U.S. government assesses that Russia’s FSB officers used the nerve agent Novichok to poison Navalny, causing him to fall gravely ill on August 20, 2020, while he was traveling back to Moscow after campaigning in Tomsk and Novosibirsk.
Navalny received medical treatment in Berlin, and upon his return to Russia in January was subsequently arrested for an alleged violation of his parole. In what was widely considered a show trial, he was sentenced to more than two-and-a-half years in prison.
One year after Navalny’s poisoning, the Department of State announced a second round of sanctions on Russia under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act. These include a restriction on the permanent importation into the United States of firearms or ammunition manufactured or located in Russia pursuant to new or pending permit applications, as well as further restrictions on nuclear and missile-related technology exports to Russia.
The Departments of State and the Treasury also designated nine Russian individuals and four entities, including operatives involved in poisoning Mr. Navalny and entities that have developed Russia’s chemical weapons capabilities.
Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control Director Andrea Gacki said Navalny’s poisoning was “a shocking violation of international norms against the use of chemical weapons and was part of an ongoing campaign to silence voices of dissent in Russia.”
These additional costs on Russia, according to State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, “send a clear signal that there will be no impunity for the use of chemical weapons, including for the individuals and organizations involved. Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms. The United States calls upon Russia to comply with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.”