US to Hit Russia With 'Major Sanctions' After Navalny Death

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says a 'substantial package' is on the way
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 20, 2024 2:27 PM CST
White House Promises 'Major Sanctions' After Navalny Death
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby speaks during a press briefing at the White House, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The White House says it is preparing additional "major sanctions" on Russia in response to opposition leader Alexei Navalny's death in an Arctic penal colony. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the sanctions, on the eve of the two-year anniversary of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, "will be a substantial package covering a range of different elements of the Russian defense industrial base, and sources of revenue for the Russian economy that power Russia's war machine, that power Russia's aggression, and that power Russia's repression."

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tuesday that the US had not determined how Navalny had died, but insisted that the ultimate responsibility lay with Putin, the AP reports. "Regardless of the scientific answer, Putin's responsible for it," he told reporters. Brian Nelson, the Treasury Department's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, is in Europe this week to continue working on Russia sanctions ahead of the two-year anniversary. Policy experts have advanced an array of proposals meant to starve Russia of the money it needs to continue its invasion—from seizing the nation's Central Bank funds housed largely in Europe to lowering the Group of Seven price cap in Russian oil.

"The global coalition imposing unprecedented sanctions on Russia's war machine has thrown sand in the gears of the Kremlin's efforts to equip and supply its military," the Treasury department said last week. "President Biden recently expanded Treasury's authorities to target those funding Russia's war production efforts—even if they're located in third countries—and Treasury is aggressively pursuing those who attempt to evade our sanctions." (More Alexei Navalny stories.)

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