US targets Russia with more than 500 new sanctions

Joe Biden speaking at the White House

The United States has announced more than 500 new sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and the death in custody of the opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

The sanctions target people connected to Navalny’s imprisonment and Russia’s war machine, President Joe Biden said.

Export restrictions will be imposed on nearly 100 firms or individuals.

The EU also announced sanctions, which Moscow responded to by banning EU officials from entering Russia.

It is unclear what impact the sanctions will have on Russia’s economy.

In a statement, President Biden said the sanctions “will ensure” Russian President Vladimir Putin “pays an even steeper price for his aggression abroad and repression at home”.

The sanctions mark a week since Navalny suddenly died in an Arctic Circle jail. Mr Biden has said there can be “no doubt” the Russian president was to blame.

The sanctions also come on the eve of the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

“Two years ago, he tried to wipe Ukraine off the map. If Putin does not pay the price for his death and destruction, he will keep going,” Mr Biden said in the statement.

On Friday, the EU also announced its own raft of sanctions on nearly 200 companies and people accused of helping Russia procure weapons, or of involvement in kidnapping Ukrainian children, something Moscow denies.

They included 10 Russian companies and individuals involved in the shipping of North Korean armaments to Russia, including North Korea’s defence minister.

The EU has now listed more than 2,000 individuals since the war started.

In response, Russia’s foreign ministry said it had significantly expanded a list of EU officials and politicians banned from entering Russia.

“The European Union is continuing its fruitless attempts to put pressure on Russia through unilateral restrictive measures,” it said in a statement.

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