On Wednesday, the Biden administration announced new sanctions on Russia over the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny. The Commerce Department said the new measures will tighten export restrictions “of items controlled for national security reasons that are destined for Russia.”
The sanctions tighten restrictions that were put in place over the alleged poisoning of former Russian military officer intelligence Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England. The US alleges both the Skripals and Navalny were poisoned by Russian intelligence using a nerve agent known as Novichok. Moscow denies involvement in either poisoning.
Earlier this month, the US slapped sanctions on seven senior Russian officials and 14 Russian entities over the jailing and alleged poisoning of Navalny. The sanctions were coordinated with similar measures from the EU.
The Biden administration seems keen to ratchet up tensions with Moscow, and reports say more sanctions are coming. The US is reportedly preparing new sanctions that will target the Russia-Germany Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
The administration might also roll out sanctions over a US intelligence assessment that claims Russian President Vladimir Putin sought to influence the 2020 election to hurt Biden. The assessment from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence offered no evidence to back up the allegation, and Russia dismissed the claims as “baseless.”
Russia recalled its ambassador to the US on Wednesday after President Biden called Putin a “killer” in an interview with ABC. Biden also threatened action over the ODNI assessment.