WASHINGTON: The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on the director of Russia’s FSB security agency after finding it carried out the near fatal poisoning of President Vladimir Putin’s leading critic Alexei Navalny.
The Treasury Department said that Alexander Bortnikov, who since 2008 has led the KGB’s successor, was one of seven senior Russian officials whose US assets will be frozen, with any US transactions with them subject to prosecution.
The seven people targeted were in line with similar actions taken by the European Union. Bortnikov was hit by EU sanctions in October over Navalny’s poisoning. The people targeted by the United States included Alexander Kalashnikov, the federal prisons administrator, who was hit in a new raft of fresh EU sanctions on Tuesday.
“The US government has exercised its authorities to send a clear signal that Russia’s use of chemical weapons and abuse of human rights have severe consequences,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
“Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes international norms,” he said.—AFP