Treasury issues new sanctions for 2020 poisoning of Alexei Navalny

A screen shows the already imprisoned Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny (2L) as he listens to his verdict over a series of extremism charges at the IK-6 penal colony, a maximum-security prison some 250 kilometres (155 miles) east of Moscow, in the settlement of Melekhovo in the Vladimir region on August 4, 2023.

Alexander Nemenov | Afp | Getty Images

WASHINGTON — The Treasury Department on Thursday issued new sanctions against Russian security operatives for the 2020 poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Treasury targeted four actors in the assassination attempt, which occurred shortly before Navalny flew back to Moscow after campaigning in Tomsk and Novosibirsk. The sanctions come two weeks after a Russian court sentenced Navalny to an additional 19 years in prison on extremism charges.

He was already serving two prison sentences on charges of embezzlement and fraud.

“The assassination attempt against … Navalny in 2020 represents the Kremlin’s contempt for human rights, and we will continue to use the authorities at our disposal to hold the Kremlin’s willing would-be executioners to account,” said Brian E. Nelson, undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, in a statement.

Sanctions were issued Thursday against Alexey Alexandrovich Alexandrov, Konstantin Kudryavtsev, Ivan Vladimirovich Osipov and Vladimir Alexandrovich Panyaev following the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012 for engaging in gross violations of human rights in Russia as agents of or on behalf of another person.

Three of the actors are operatives with the Russian Federal Security Service Criminalistics Institute. Panyaev is described by Treasury as an “FSB operative who reportedly tailed Navalny on multiple occasions prior to the attack.”

CNBC has reached out to the Russian embassy for comment.

The sanctions complement the State Department’s announcement of visa restrictions against the operatives for involvement in gross violations of human rights.

FSB officers used the nerve agent Novichok, which was created by the Soviet Union, to poison Navalny, the Treasury memo said.

The four operatives were previously sanctioned on August 20, 2021, for acting on behalf of the FSB.

Each has been blocked from all property and interests of property in the U.S. or in possession of U.S. persons and all assets must be reported to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.


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