W.e USA wants to impose further sanctions on Russia after the almost fatal poisoning attack on Kremlin critic Alexej Navalnyj. “We are preparing another package of sanctions that will also be applied in this case,” said US President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, Jake Sullivan, on CNN on Sunday. The government in Moscow, for its part, announced a “legitimate response” to this.
“We showed along the way that we will not hold back,” said Sullivan, referring to previously imposed sanctions. He emphasized that these had been put into effect together with the allies. After his recovery, Navalnyj returned to Russia earlier this year, where he was immediately detained.
Russia announces a “legitimate answer”
At the beginning of March, the US imposed sanctions on the head of the Russian domestic intelligence service, Alexander Bortniko, and several confidants of President Vladimir Putin because of the Navalnyj case. The governments in Washington and Moscow also called back their ambassadors.
“We have always followed a legitimate response to the illegal actions of the United States,” wrote the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Sakharova, on the Telegram online service on Sunday evening. “It is strange that some people in Washington like to go around in circles and face the same obstacles over and over again.”
It was only on Wednesday that Biden and Putin met for the first time as part of a cautious rapprochement after months of diplomatic ice age. Relations between the two states were at a low point after Biden took office in January, after Biden called Putin a “killer” when asked.
Putin had justified the imprisonment of Navalnyj, which was sharply criticized by the US and other Western countries, at the meeting in Geneva on Wednesday. Navalnyj had “violated the law”. Putin was referring to the exodus of the comatose opponent to Germany for medical treatment, even though Navalnyj had been suspended in Russia. The Moscow government denies being responsible for the poison attack.
After the roughly three and a half hour meeting in Geneva, Putin and Biden had sent out signs of relaxation. Russian Ambassador Anatoly Antonov returned to the United States on Sunday. The US ambassador to Moscow, John Sullivan, also announced his early return to Russia on Saturday.
Upon his arrival in New York, Antonov said of the latest threat from Washington: “I think that it is not possible to stabilize relations through sanctions, to improve mutual relations between two countries.” the summit in Geneva, he said, and called for a return to dialogue.