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4 Feb, 2021 15:38

As New York Times claims the US is 'sanctioned out,' Senators propose measures against Russians deemed complicit in ‘repression’

As New York Times claims the US is 'sanctioned out,' Senators propose measures against Russians deemed complicit in ‘repression’

Following Alexey Navalny's jailing, US senators have proposed measures against the Russian officials they deem responsible. On the same day, it was reported that Washington is “sanctioned out” after years without any success.

An article in the New York Times, written by David Sanger, claimed on Wednesday that newly inaugurated President Joe Biden’s top aides think further restrictions on Russia may not be the way forward.

“More than six years later, [the] sanctions regimen has failed in its one goal: to force Mr. Putin to reverse course, remove his forces and cease harassing a sovereign former Soviet state,” the article said, noting that economic restrictions had failed to achieve the US’ foreign policy goals.

Also on rt.com British newspaper’s man in Moscow claims Russians ‘lack self worth’ because they failed to riot over Navalny court verdict

The same sentiment is not shared by everyone, however. Six members of the Senate re-introduced an old bill on Wednesday to impose measures on those thought by Washington to be “complicit in the poisoning and repression of citizens.” The bipartisan proposal, previously submitted in September, was put forward by Republicans Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah), along with Democrats Chris Coons (D-Delaware), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland), Chris van Hollen (D-Maryland) and Dick Durbin (D-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 [sic] and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny,” a statement on Rubio's website said.

The legislation would also require the government to investigate if Russia broke US laws regarding the use of chemical and biological weapons.

“Following yesterday's outrageous sentencing of Russian opposition leader [sic] Alexey Navalny, I'm proud to join Senator Coons in standing with the Russian people,” Rubio said on Wednesday.

In response, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the US’ approach to bilateral relations “through the prism of sanctions pressure” is unacceptable, and said the proposals were a “knee-jerk reaction.”

Also on rt.com 'MI6 collusion' video: Like many Americans believe Trump colluded with Moscow, plenty in Russia see Navalny team as Western agents

On Wednesday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Washington would always come up with reasons to impose measures on Moscow, and the Navalny case was simply an excuse.

“Didn't they promise sanctions last week, a month ago, six months ago? When I hear that, I recall every time they promised sanctions,” she said. “They will always find and invent [justifications],” she said.

On August 20, Navalny suddenly fell ill on a flight to Moscow from the Siberian city Tomsk. The plane was forced to land in Omsk, another Russian city, where he was taken to hospital and placed in a coma. After requests from his family and associates, he was flown to Berlin's Charite Clinic for treatment. Shortly after arriving in Germany, contrary to Russian medical reports, doctors announced that the opposition figure had been poisoned by Novichok.

Navalny returned to Moscow on January 17, almost five months later. He was immediately arrested. On February 2, he was found guilty of breaking the terms of his parole and was given a three-and-a-half-year jail sentence.

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