White House: ‘Major’ sanctions package against Russia after Navalny’s death coming Friday

The White House announced that a major sanctions package against Russia will come Friday after the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The package will aim to “hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny,” White House national security communications adviser John Kirby told reporters Tuesday.

Kirby said that the new sanctions are designed to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable for the war in Ukraine and are “specifically supplemented with additional sanction regarding Mr. Navalny’s death.”

President Biden has blamed Putin for Navalny’s shocking death in a prison in Russia. He told reporters last week the White House is “looking at a whole number of options right now” as to how to respond.

The president had warned in June 2021 of “devastating” consequences for Russia if Navalny died in prison.

The Biden administration has rolled out numerous sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine since the start of the war, and the U.S. has provided aid to give military equipment to the Ukrainian military.

The Senate passed a new aid package for Ukraine, as well as Israel, last week, but Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) has rejected bringing it up on the House floor. The White House has used the House recess as a political weapon to batter Republicans for going on vacation without passing the funding for Ukraine.

Biden has also pointed to the lack of action from Congress as one reason Putin is growing more confident with the U.S. receding from Ukraine and Europe. Russia earned a significant victory in the battle for Ukraine by taking the city of Avdiivka, which was Russia’s first meaningful battleground victory over Ukraine in nearly a year.

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