Biden Says He’ll Impose ‘Major’ Sanctions on Russia Over Navalny’s Death

The White House is not offering any details on what the sanctions will entail

President Biden on Tuesday said his administration would be announcing “major sanctions” on Russia over the death of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

“What I came to tell you was we’d be announcing sanctions on Russia. We’ll have a major package announced on Friday,” Biden told reporters before boarding Marine One for a trip to the West Coast.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also said the US would be announcing a “major” sanctions package on Friday. Kirby said the sanctions aim to “hold Russia accountable for what happened to Mr. Navalny, and quite frankly, for all its actions over the course of this vicious and brutal war that has now raged on for two years.”

Kirby would not offer any details on the sanctions when asked, and it’s unclear what steps the US could take since it’s already imposed so many sanctions on Russia.

The White House is supportive of a plan to send $300 billion in frozen Russian central bank funds to Ukraine, which would mark a significant escalation of the economic war against Russia. But the US needs Europe to be onboard since that’s where most of the money is being held, and recent reports have said no final decisions have been made.

The US has offered sharp criticism over the death of Navalny, who died at 47 while serving a 19-year prison sentence. The circumstances of his death are unclear but President Biden immediately blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin, and hawks in the US are using his death to justify spending more on the Ukraine proxy war.

In contrast, the Biden administration has been silent about the death of Gonzalo Lira, an American who was imprisoned in Ukraine for his views on the war. Lira’s father said the US did nothing to help free his son. Lira died in January after a battle with pneumonia that he said was initially ignored by Ukrainian authorities.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.