State Department says ‘major sanctions package’ coming to hold Russia ‘accountable for Navalny’s death’

The State Department announced Tuesday that the U.S. will be unveiling a ‘major sanctions package’ against Russia later this week to hold them ‘accountable’ for the death of jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny. 

The latest wave of sanctions to target the Russian government will be revealed on Friday, one day before the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

‘As the White House announced this morning at President Biden’s direction, we will be announcing a major sanctions package on Friday to hold Russia accountable for Navalny’s death in prison and for its actions over the course of the vicious and brutal war they have waged in Ukraine for the past two years,’ State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller told reporters at a briefing Tuesday. 

‘The Kremlin has poisoned Navalny, imprisoned him unjustly, kept him in harsh conditions and denied him medical care,’ Miller continued. 

‘It is the Russian government that is responsible for Navalny’s death while in detention and now in any other society, in a free democratic society, we would see openness and transparency as his family seeks more information about their beloved son, husband and father,’ he added. ‘But of course, in Russia, openness and transparency remain in short supply.’ 

Navalny died last Friday at the IK-3 penal colony in Kharp in northern Russia.  

The country’s prison agency said the 47-year-old opposition leader collapsed following a walk, but Navalny’s cause of death remains unknown, and his wife is accusing Putin of poisoning him. 

President Biden said Friday that there is ‘no doubt’ it was a ‘consequence of something that Putin and his thugs did.’ 

Russia though has brushed off the accusations from Biden and other Western officials, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying Monday, ‘We consider it absolutely unacceptable to make such, well, frankly obnoxious statements,’ according to Reuters. 

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