Six senators from the US Democratic and Republican parties submitted a bill to Congress about personal sanctions against Russian officials who were involved in "flagrant violations of international law, including the poisoning and imprisonment of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.
The document, entitled "On Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act of 2021," requires the US administration to determine, within three months after its approval, whether the Russian authorities have violated laws prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons. In addition, the US administration will have to provide information to Congress related to former and current Russian officials and personas, who, acting on the orders from the Russian authorities, were involved in Navalny's poisoning.
The bill also requires a report on the assassination of Russian politician Boris Nemtsov, sources and the size of the personal fortune of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his family members.
"Putin's government has a long and sordid history of using murder and attempted murder to silence Russian citizens at home and abroad who have called attention to the regime's corrupt and abusive practices," said Senator Chris Coons. "The Russian people are now demonstrating against the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny through peaceful protests across their country. Instead of listening to their real grievances, Putin's security forces have responded with unbridled brutality and arrested thousands. This bipartisan bill seeks to hold Putin and his inner circle accountable, while sending a clear message that the Russian government should immediately release Navalny and halt its repressive actions."
Senator Marco Rubio called Navalny's verdict outrageous and expressed support for the Russian people. His party member Mitt Romney described the actions of the Putin regime a shameless attempt to silence the voice of the Russian people fighting for freedom and truth.
"Putin and his cronies first poisoned Alexei Navalny and when they were unsuccessful at that, they set up a sham trial and sentenced him to several years in prison. We must hold the Putin regime accountable for these acts, which are a shameless attempt to silence the voice of the Russian people fighting against corruption and for freedom and truth," Romney said.
The bill also states that the US Secretary of State should point out to Germany that it is "inappropriate" to participate in the joint Nord Stream 2 project with Russia, which the Russian government supports, because the Russian government is "killing its citizens for reporting corruption and other violations." US American lawmakers also believe that Europe will become more dependent on the unreliable leadership of the Russian Federation because of the new gas pipeline system.
The Kremlin considers the sanctions pressure on Russia on the part of the United States absolutely unacceptable, Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on February 4.
"We can see, let's say, such constant sanctions reflexes from American law-makers. You know that we consider such approaches absolutely unacceptable in bilateral relations in general," he said.
The current development is not a reason for President Vladimir Putin to demonstrate his personal reaction to it, he added.
Russian senators called the latest initiative from their US counterparts a move to put pressure on Russia. Senator Konstantin Kosachev noted that in this way US politicians are trying to interfere in the jurisdiction of Russian legal proceedings.
On February 2, the Simonovsky Court of Moscow revised Navalny's verdict on the Yves Rocher case and replaced the suspended sentence with a real jail term. Navalny was thus sentenced to two years and eight months in a colony.