US sanctions Russian operatives, entities linked to poisoning of Aleksey Navalny

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Aleksey Navalny (File Photo)
Aleksey Navalny (File Photo)

Washington DC [US], August 21 (ANI): The US Treasury Department on Friday sanctioned Russian operatives and entities linked to the poisoning of opposition figure Aleksey Navalny.

Navalny, one of Russia's most prominent opposition leaders had been poisoned in a nerve agent attack, and was sent to Germany for medical treatment. He was detained by Russian authorities upon his return to the country.

The US government assesses that Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) officers used the nerve agent Novichok to poison Navalny, causing him to fall gravely ill on August 20, last year, while he was traveling back to Moscow after campaigning in Tomsk and Novosibirsk.

"Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the U.S. Department of State joined the United Kingdom in imposing additional sanctions on Russia in response to the state-sponsored poisoning of Russian opposition leader Aleksey Navalny that took place one year ago today," US Treasury Department said in a statement.

New sanctions were imposed under the US Chemical and Biological Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act). The fresh sanctions include restrictions on the permanent imports of certain Russian firearms.

"New and pending permit applications for the permanent importation of firearms and ammunition manufactured or located in Russia will be subject to a policy of denial. Additional Department of Commerce export restrictions on nuclear and missile-related goods and technology pursuant to the Export Control Reform Act of 2018," US State Department said.

Specifically, relevant US authorities have designated nine Russian individuals and two Russian entities involved in Navalny's poisoning or Russia's chemical weapons program. Additionally, the US Department of State designated two Russian Ministry of Defense scientific laboratories that have engaged in activities to develop Russia's chemical weapons capabilities.

"Today, on the one year anniversary of Aleksey Navalny's poisoning by Russian government agents, we stand with our ally, the United Kingdom, to again condemn the Kremlin's use of a chemical weapon to target one of Russia's most prominent opposition leaders," said OFAC Director Andrea Gacki. "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."

Back in March this year, the Treasury Department sanctioned seven Russian government officials for their involvement in the poisoning of Navalny. (ANI)

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