The US is preparing new sanctions against Russia relating to the near-fatal poisoning of Kremlin-defender Alexei Navalny, a senior White House adviser warned on Sunday. The United States will rally European allies to impose costs on Russia for the use of a chemical agent on Russian soil against one of its citizens, stated Jake Sullivan, national security adviser for US President Joe Biden on CNN’s State of the Union. In March Washington ordered sanctions on Russia’s Director of the Domestic Intelligence Agency of Russia, the FSB, after it was found to have carried out the poisoning of the incarcerated opposition leader and most prominent opponent of President Vladimir Putin. Washington is preparing a package of sanctions that could be applied in this case. Washington has already sanctioned Russia twice over the poisoning. Navalny was arrested in January and has since returned to Russia to recover from the poisoning, which he says was orchestrated by Moscow.
We’ve got to show in some ways that we’re not going to let up, “Sullivan added. The US government has shown along the way that it “will not back down,” he added.
He spoke a day after Biden and Putin met at their first summit in Geneva for their first summit to cool off tensions in strained US-Russia relations. Diplomatic relations between Moscow and Washington have collapsed since Biden took office in January. Putin has rejected criticism of his dealings with opponents – many senior critics have been killed in Moscow and his ruling media silenced – and said Washington is the bigger problem. In March, after Biden compared Putin to a killer, Moscow took the rare step of recalling its ambassador, Anatoly Antonov. US envoy John Sullivan has since returned to Washington.
Putin said the summit was friendly and that he and Biden could get along on key issues. In the days after the summit, the Kremlin balked at any future dialogue with Washington. We are ready to continue this dialogue in the same manner that is the American side of things, “Putin said in a televised address.