New United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken says he does not rule out that new restrictive measures may be introduced against the Russian Federation.
He announced this at his first press briefing in Washington, D.C., on January 27, according to an UNIAN correspondent.
Asked what are the redlines under which the U.S. will consider sanctioning Russia if there is any harm that comes to detained Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Blinken said: "We're reviewing all of these actions that are of deep concern to us, whether it is the treatment of Mr. Navalny, and particularly the apparent use of a chemical weapon in an attempt to assassinate him. We're looking very urgently as well at SolarWinds and its various implications. We're looking at the reports of bounties placed by Russia on American forces in Afghanistan. And of course, we're looking at these questions of election interference."
"So all of that, as the President and the White House have indicated, are under review. I don't want to get ahead of where we are on those reviews," he said.
"[We are] not ruling out anything. But we want to get this full review done and then we'll take it from there," he added.
Navalny poisoning: Background
- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny felt sick on board the plane he was flying from the city of Tomsk to Moscow on August 20, 2020. His rapidly deteriorating condition forced the captain to perform an emergency landing in Omsk.
- Navalny was evacuated from Omsk to Berlin's Charite hospital on an ambulance aircraft for further medical treatment on August 22, 2020.
- On September 4, 2020, it was announced that experts with the Bundeswehr laboratory had found traces of poison from the Novichok group in Navalny's body. In this regard, Berlin called on Moscow to explain the circumstances of the poisoning of the Russian opposition figure.
- On September 10, 2020, it was reported Navalny had made further progress in his recovery and was able to speak again.
- On September 14, 2020, French and Swedish laboratories independently confirmed Navalny had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group.
- On September 23, 2020, he was discharged from Charite.
- On October 1, 2020, speaking in an interview for Germany's Der Spiegel, Navalny said that Russian President Vladimir Putin was personally behind the attempt to poison him with Novichok.
- In a prank call late December 2020, Navalny duped a Russian secret agent into disclosing details of the botched plot to kill him and had been told that poison had been placed in his underpants.
- On January 17, 2021, the opposition leader returned to Russia from Germany and was arrested at the airport. His arrest is to last until February 15.