WASHINGTON, February 4. /TASS/. A bipartisan group of US senators has introduced a draft legislation to the US Congress on sanctions against Russia due to the situation with Russian blogger Alexey Navalny, the press service of senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida, reported on Wednesday.
As the press service noted, the Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act of 2021 was reintroduced by US senators Marco Rubio and Chris Coons (a Democrat from Delaware) who were joined by Ben Cardin (a Democrat from Maryland), Mitt Romney (a Republican from Utah), Chris Van-Hollen (a Democrat from Maryland) and Dick Durbin (a Democrat from Illinois). "This bill would impose targeted sanctions against Russian officials complicit in brazen violations of international law including the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny," the statement said.
Additionally, this initiative, if approved, directs the US administration to determine "if the Kremlin has violated U.S. laws prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons." The bill also demands "a report on the assassination of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov."
The press service reiterated that last September the lawmakers introduced a similar bill to the US Congress. According to the Congress’ database, on September 24, the initiative was directed to a relevant Senate committee, no information on any further actions on the document is included.
Situation around Navalny
Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. Later, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital. On September 2, Berlin claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples, German government toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov repeatedly emphasized that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany and pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin. On January 17, Navalny was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport having arrived from Berlin.
On Tuesday, Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court converted Alexey Navalny’s suspended sentence in the Yves Rocher embezzlement case to 3 years and 6 months in a medium-security prison. He will remain at a detention facility until the court’s decision becomes effective.
On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that the United States always comes up with various excuses for imposing anti-Russian sanctions, and it does not need any specific reasons to do so. She also emphasized that the sanctions being taken against Russia must be retaliated against, but Russia will do this not aggressively, but in a well-considered way. According to her, such an approach "is always more useful and effective." The spokeswoman added that the response would be public and well-reasoned.