USA: Washington has “high confidence” Navalny was poisoned and announces sanctions on Russia
Russian human rights activists believe that the new US administration will be more principled on this issue
One of the key challenges in Russian-American relations may be the incident with the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. Human rights activists interviewed by the Russian service of the Voice of America are inclined to this conclusion, believing that Washington’s position on this issue will become tougher..
We will remind, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on Tuesday, December 14, congratulated Joe Biden on his victory in the presidential elections in the United States. World leaders including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sent congratulations to Joe Biden just after the Pennsylvania vote made him predictable the winner.
Chinese President Xi Jinping did it later, on November 25. For a long time, the Kremlin refrained from congratulating the elected President of the United States, Joe Biden, citing a desire to wait for the official results of the vote..
In a telegram posted on the Kremlin’s website, Putin wished Biden “every success and expressed confidence that Russia and the United States, which bear special responsibility for global security and stability, can, despite their differences, actually contribute to solving many of the problems and challenges that the world now faces.”.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden during his election campaign repeatedly touched upon the topic of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and insisted on the need for a thorough investigation of the crime. The principled approach to the problem of the Democrats contrasted especially against the background of the position of the current administration of Donald Trump, to which the Russian oppositionist twice publicly appealed, urging him, in particular, to join other world leaders in condemning the use of banned chemical weapons by Moscow. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The Russian government must provide a full report on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and bring those responsible to justice.”.
Military laboratories in Germany and independent experts in Sweden and France recorded that Navalny was poisoned by the Novichok nerve agent.
The Russian oppositionist is sure that the attempt on his life was organized by order from the Kremlin. Moscow declares unsubstantiated accusations against it and refuses to investigate.
Vyacheslav Bakhmin: “Sanctions will play their role anyway”
Vyacheslav Bakhmin, co-chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group, founder of the Sakharov Center, believes that as soon as all the vicissitudes associated with the assumption of the presidency are over in the United States, Washington will come to grips with Navalny’s topic. And then, in his opinion, “it will not seem enough to anyone”.
“In my opinion, new sanctions (against Russia) are inevitable,” the human rights activist suggested in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America. – In principle, they would have been introduced regardless of who won the elections. But under Biden they will obviously be tougher. “.
This is a postponed fine, which sooner or later should come into force, stated the co-chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group. In his opinion, the sanctions are unlikely to radically change Moscow’s position on this issue, but the West cannot but react to such provocative actions of the Russian leadership..
“And even though such a reaction is mostly symbolic, at the same time it shows that the world does not intend to tolerate the Kremlin’s antics and to let things go on the brakes,” he said. – This is also very important. So sanctions will play their role anyway “.
The story of Alexei Navalny will haunt Russia for a long time, which is already in a state of siege, Vyacheslav Bakhmin summed up.
Sergei Davidis: “An illustrative example of the stupid and ineffective behavior of the state machine”
Sergei Davidis, head of the program “Support for Political Prisoners and Persecuted Civil Activists” of the Memorial Human Rights Center, agrees that the approach of the new US presidential administration to the problem of the assassination attempt on the Russian opposition leader will undergo significant changes. In his opinion, we can talk about a certain unwillingness of the current US administration to sharply criticize authoritarian regimes, including Putin’s.
“Whereas the stated position of Joe Biden testifies to something completely different, – added the interlocutor of the“ Voice of America. – And this is rather a traditional rhetoric for American administrations. Therefore, I would like to hope that after all the formalities in connection with the change of power in the United States have been passed, the issues of human rights and their protection will again take their rightful place in Washington’s policy. The same, of course, applies to the completely outrageous story of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny “.
Regarding possible obstacles to Navalny’s return home, Sergei Davidis noted that the Russian authorities could come up with dozens of reasons. At the same time, according to him, they will not look as ridiculous as the recent information in the media about the investigation against the head of the FBK for his “extremist” statements, which sounded more than six months ago on the radio station “Echo of Moscow”.
Let us remind you that under the article, which “shone” the oppositionist, punishment is provided for up to 5 years in prison..
“There are already enough threats against Alexei Navalny,” said Sergei Davidis. “The attempted murder itself looks much more serious. But in general, this is just an illustrative example of stupid and ineffective behavior of the state machine and a painful attitude of the authorities towards political opponents. “.
All together, this once again underlines the madness of the situation that has developed around Navalny, concluded the head of the program “Support for political prisoners and persecuted civil activists” of the human rights center “Memorial”.