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President Joe Biden with Navalny's widow Yulia and daughter Dasha. Alamy Stock Photo

Biden announces 500 further sanctions on Russia over Navalny's death

Biden said that is Putin is not made to ‘pay the price’ for death and destruction, ‘he will keep going’.

THE UNITED STATES and the European Union are piling new sanctions on Russia on the eve of the second anniversary of its invasion of Ukraine and in retaliation for the death of noted Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny last week in an Arctic penal colony.

The US Treasury Department plans to impose more than 500 new sanctions on Russia and its war machine in the largest single tranche of penalties since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24 2022.

They come on the heels of a series of new arrests and indictments announced by the Justice Department yesterday that target Russian businessmen, including the head of Russia’s second-largest bank, and their middlemen in five separate federal cases.

The European Union announced today that it is imposing sanctions on several foreign companies over allegations that they have exported dual-use goods to Russia that could be used in its war against Ukraine.

The 27-nation bloc also said it was targeting scores of Russian officials, including “members of the judiciary, local politicians and people responsible for the illegal deportation and military re-education of Ukrainian children”.

“The American people and people around the world understand that the stakes of this fight extend far beyond Ukraine,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement announcing the sanctions.

“If (Russian President Vladimir) Putin does not pay the price for his death and destruction, he will keep going. And the costs to the United States – along with our Nato allies and partners in Europe and around the world – will rise.”

The US was specifically to target individuals associated with Mr Navalny’s imprisonment a day after Mr Biden met the opposition leader’s widow and daughter in California.

It was also hitting “Russia’s financial sector, defence industrial base, procurement networks and sanctions evaders across multiple continents”, Mr Biden said.

“They will ensure Putin pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.”

The EU asset freezes and travel bans constitute the 13th package of measures imposed by the bloc against people and organisations it suspects of undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.

“Today, we are further tightening the restrictive measures against Russia’s military and defence sector,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

“We remain united in our determination to dent Russia’s war machine and help Ukraine win its legitimate fight for self-defence.”

In all, 106 more officials and 88 “entities” – often companies, banks, government agencies or other organisations – have been added to the bloc’s sanctions list, bringing the tally of those targeted to more than 2,000 people and entities, including Mr Putin and his associates.

Companies making electronic components, which the EU believes could have military as well as civilian uses, were among 27 entities accused of “directly supporting Russia’s military and industrial complex in its war of aggression against Ukraine”, a statement said.

Those companies – some of them based in India, Sri Lanka, China, Serbia, Kazakhstan, Thailand and Turkey – face tougher export restrictions.

The names of the companies will only be made public once they are published in the EU’s official journal, which should be a matter of days.

The bloc said the companies “have been involved in the circumvention of trade restrictions”, and it accuses others of “the development, production and supply of electronic components” destined to help Russia’s armed forces.

Some of the measures are aimed at depriving Russia of parts for pilotless drones, which are seen by military experts as key to the war.

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