The Biden administration announced on Friday that it has placed hundreds of new sanctions against Russia in response to the death of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny last week. The slew of sanctions against the country’s officials, companies, and energy suppliers also comes on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
US President Joe Biden announced new sanctions to punish Russia for its “aggression abroad and repression at home.” (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

“Today, I am announcing more than 500 new sanctions against Russia for its ongoing war of conquest on Ukraine and for the death of [Alexei] Navalny, who was a courageous anti-corruption activist and Putin’s fiercest opposition leader,” President Joe Biden declared during a Friday morning press conference. “These sanctions will target individuals connected to Navalny’s imprisonment as well as Russia’s financial sector, defense industrial base, procurement networks, and sanctions evaders across multiple continents. They will ensure Putin pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home.”

Further clarification was provided by administration officials following the announcement. The US State Department has placed sanctions on three Russian officials believed to be involved in Navalny’s death, and the Treasury Department has sanctioned 500 companies linked to the Russian war effort.  The Commerce Department added another 90 to its “entity list,” restricting the ability to do business in the US.

Many of these groups are located outside of Russia but contribute to its military and economy by providing raw materials and brokering sales of Russian oil. These include entities in China, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Liechtenstein, and seven other countries.

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As Valuetainment previously reported, Navalny reportedly collapsed during a walk at the remote Arctic penal colony where he was serving out a 19-year sentence for “extremism” stemming from his criticism of the Kremlin. Following news of Navalny’s death, the Putin administration denied responsibility and attributed his sudden passing to natural causes. However, Navalny’s widow, the United States government, and the international press remain suspicious of foul play given previous assassination attempts traced back to the Kremlin.

The Biden administration placed 500 new sanctions against Russia over the death of Alexei Navalny and the second anniversary of the Ukraine invasion.
Yulia Navalnaya, wife of Alexei Navalny. (Yves Herman, Pool Photo via AP)

At the time of Navalny’s arrest in 2021, Biden warned that any further harm to the incarcerated dissident “would be devastating for Russia,” but did not elaborate further.

Related: Widow of Alexei Navalny Says He Was Killed by Putin

Biden again warned of sanctions in the wake of Navalny’s death and met with Navalny’s wife and daughter in California on Thursday, where they reportedly discussed retribution against Putin.

The announcement of the new sanctions also comes just prior to the two-year anniversary of the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war on February 24, 2022. With no end in sight to the conflict, the US, the European Union, and other NATO members have ramped up efforts to choke out the Russian economy and cripple its military—efforts which have so far been unsuccessful.

According to S&P Global, Russia was able to earn $99 billion in oil and gas revenue last year despite a “price cap” imposed on international markets by the US Treasury Department.

Connor Walcott is a staff writer for Follow Connor on X and look for him on VT’s “The Unusual Suspects.”

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