The United States and Britain on Friday imposed joint sanctions against men they claimed were Russian intelligence operatives linked to the 2020 nerve agent on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Seven men have been targeted by both countries with sanctions and Russia has received a strict joint warning over its use of chemical weapons. The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Department and the US State Department have said they are freezing the assets of those men with ties to the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) and will also be subject travel bans.
Washington separately issued sanctions against two other men and four Russian institutes that it said were associated with what they believe to be an assassination attempt on Navalny.
US and UK impose sanctions on 7 Russian men
In a joint statement, the two governments said the men were indicted on charges of being “directly responsible” for the poisoning or poisoning of Navalny on August 20 last year. The Kremlin critic was flown to Germany for medical treatment after poisoning Siberia with what Western experts concluded was the military nerve agent Novichok.
Moscow, however, rejected the allegations, accusing the West of waging a smear campaign against it. The updated sanctions list was released by the government on the first anniversary of the Navalny poisoning, including seven new names. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the move a strict warning to Russia, noting that any use of chemical weapons by the country violates international law, adding that a transparent criminal investigation must be carried out.
Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, took to social media and said: “Unilateral sanctions are illegitimate because they have not been approved by the UN Security Council.” “Russia has destroyed the arsenal of chemical weapons in accordance with the international obligations it has entered into. The same cannot be said of NATO countries, for example the United States,” she said. .
The defendants who have been added to the British documents are Alexey Alexandrov, Vladimir Panyaev, Ivan Osipov, Vladimir Bogdanov, Kirill Vasilyev, Stanislav Makshakov and Alexei Sedov.
The US Treasury, in addition to imposing sanctions on these 7 men, added two other Russian officials who he said were involved in the poisoning – Konstantin Kudryavtsev and Artur Zhirov – as well as two other Russian institutes on which he had doubts. Phone and travel records showing some of the agents were present in the Siberian city of Tomsk have also been produced by the British government as evidence.