USA announces 500 new sanctions against Russia following Alexei Navalny’s death

February 27, 2024

President Joe Biden announced more than 500 new sanctions against Russia on Friday, February 23, in response to the death of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny and the ongoing war in Ukraine, reports Forbes.

In a White House statement, Biden said the sanctions will target “individuals connected to Navalny’s imprisonment,” as well as Russia’s financial sector, the country’s defense industry and “sanctions evaders across multiple continents.”

The sanctions also include additional export curbs targeting 100 entities “providing backdoor support for Russia’s war machine.”

Biden’s statement hailed Navalny as a “courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest opposition leader.

“History is watching. The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will not be forgotten. Now is the time for us to stand strong with Ukraine and stand united with our Allies and partners,” Biden said.

In the statement, Biden urged members of the House to pass the national security supplemental bill to allow for additional military aid for Ukraine—warning that Russia is receiving weapons from North Korea and Iran.

The Treasury Department said the new round of broad sanctions will target Russian financial companies—including banks, investment firms, venture capital funds and fintech firms; as well as further restrictions on the nation’s drone manufacturers, the 3D printing industry, and even diamond mining industries.

Additionally, the sanctions will target dozens of firms in other countries that U.S. authorities have identified as doing business with Russia’s military-industrial complex, including companies based in China, Serbia, North Korea, the UAE, Liechtenstein, Kyrgyzstan; and NATO members Estonia and Finland.

Last Friday, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was found dead in a prison in the Russian Arctic, where he was serving a 19-year sentence for extremism. The popular politician has been an outspoken critic of the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin, and remained an important symbol of political resistance after his 2020 poisoning and 2021 arrest.

Since his death last week, Western leaders have begun to target individuals directly connected to Navalny’s imprisonment. On Wednesday, February 21, the U.K. Foreign Office announced sanctions on six Russian prison leaders, freezing their assets in the country and instituting a travel ban. The office expanded those sanctions one day later to include 50 more Russian individuals and businesses associated with the war effort in Ukraine.

In the U.S.A., three of the individuals targeted by Friday’s sanctions are Russian government officials who had a “connection with Navalny’s death,” according to a release from the Treasury Department. The department did not identify the Russian officials or where they worked.

Research contact: @Forbes