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US imposes sanctions on Russians

March 3, 2021 10:51 am
Alexei Navalny says he was put in the dock on politically motivated charges. [Source: BBC]

The US has imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The measures, which target Russia’s top spy and six others, are being co-ordinated with similar moves by the European Union.

US officials said intelligence had concluded that the Moscow government was behind the near-fatal nerve agent attack on Navalny last year.

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He is the most high-profile critic of President Vladimir Putin.

Moscow denies involvement in his poisoning and disputes the conclusion, by Western weapons experts, that Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok agent during a flight in Siberia.

The term Novichok – “newcomer” in Russian – applies to a group of nerve agents developed in a lab by the Soviet Union during the Cold War. They paralyse muscles and can lead to death by asphyxiation.

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