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Biden prepares to impose first major punishment on Russia



The official added: “This is enough to say that we will not stand idly by in the face of these human rights violations.”

A person familiar with the matter said that Navalny was poisoned by Russian security forces in August last year and his recent imprisonment in Moscow was deemed urgent enough to require a response, although the US-Russian policy initiated by the US government in January is still continuing to be more extensive. Review. Discuss with internals.

Several Russian experts said that the United States should not wait for a response, especially after a Russian court last week paved the way for the transfer of Navalny to the criminal colony.

Daniel Fried, who served as the State Department’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs from 2005 to 2009, said: “It is correct to conduct a broader review of them, but at Navani, they should act soon. ”

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“I don’t think we can stop [Russian President] Putin sent Navani to a criminal colony,” Fried said. “But take quick action now, at least in Putin’s calculations, the United States is willing to take action. ”

Navani, 44, was poisoned to death by the nerve agent Novichok last August, a deadly substance considered by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to ban chemical weapons. The Kremlin denied involvement, but the State Department attributed the attack to the Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia in December. After several months of treatment in Germany, Navani recovered and flew to Moscow, where he was immediately arrested for violating the terms of the probation agreement. Earlier this month, he was sentenced to nearly three years in prison, which triggered large-scale protests across Russia and was condemned by the international community.

This is not the first time that Russian security forces have attempted to use Novichok to assassinate Putin’s enemies. Former Russian military officer Sergei Skripal was a double agent in the UK. His daughter Yulia Skripal was poisoned in England in March 2018. In December of last year, Navalny deceived FSB agents and detailed the conspiracy against him, which included planting Novichok in the underwear of opposition leaders.

Although the new National Security Council’s broader review of Russia has not yet been completed, the Biden administration did not start from scratch on the Navalny issue. It inherited the comprehensive sanctions plan handed over by the previous administration during the transition process. The transition person said.

The plan proposes three sanctions: the Magnitsky Act imposes sanctions on individuals detaining Navalny; sanctions under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Elimination of War Act of 1991 (Chemical Weapons Convention) According to the US Department of State’s Executive Order No. 13382 and sanctions, the order “is designed to freeze the assets of proliferators of weapons of mass destruction and their supporters”. Trump’s sanctions plan also proposes to revoke the visas of certain Russian officials and restrict exports to Russia of certain dual-use items that can be used to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.

It is not clear why the sanctions plan stalled at the end of Trump’s term, which was ready in early January. But notoriously, the former president is unwilling to punish the Kremlin or confront Vladimir Putin directly. The sanctions plan will require his approval.

No matter the new administration chooses to respond, it is unlikely to use the exact blueprint left by Trump’s national security team. Two officials said that the current National Security Council believes that the package is too one-sided and does not meet Biden’s commitment to work more closely with US partners on major foreign policy initiatives.

Nevertheless, the United States still lags behind its allies on this issue. In response to Navani’s poisoning incident last year, the European Union sanctioned six Russians and a state-run scientific research institute in October, and announced this week that it intends to sanction four more senior Russian officials for Navani’s treatment.

Ryan Tully, who served as senior director of European and Russian affairs for New South Wales (NSC) in the last six months of the Trump administration, said that US sanctions will be the next key step-and work hard To terminate the operation of the Nord Stream 2 export natural gas pipeline from Russia to Europe in the Baltic Sea, Biden has so far refused to impose further sanctions on it. In particular, Germany is optimistic about Beixi 2, which complicates multilateral actions, especially after the tense relations during the Trump era, the United States is trying to repair relations with German Chancellor Merkel.

Tully said: “The use of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Magnitsky Act and/or EO 13382 to sanction Russia to poison Alexei Navani is an important step. Because it strengthens the global ban on the use of chemical weapons.” “Ultimately, these tools will not change Putin’s calculations or behavior. Investing shares in the heart of Nord Stream 2 may and will take dozens of Putin’s vaults. One hundred million U.S. dollars.


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