The reason for the imposition of new sanctions by the United States was the trial on February 2 over Navalny, who was first poisoned with the Novichok military poison and then sent to a colony for 2 years and 8 months.
“Strong leaders do not need to jail opponents to hold on to power. First, Alexey Navalny was poisoned, and when the attempt failed, the regime of Vladimir Putin put him behind bars after an ostentatious trial", - Kommersant quotes a statement from Republican Senator from Utah Mitt Romney, member of the International Affairs Committee.
The senators' statement was supported by representatives of the US State Department. According to the agency's spokesman Ned Price, on behalf of the President of the country, the head of the National Intelligence Service will assess the situation, after which a decision will be made to impose adequate sanctions. Recent events that influenced the decision of the American authorities to impose new anti-Russian sanctions were the hacking of SolarWinds computer systems, Russia's interference in the 2020 elections, Russia's use of banned chemical weapons against Navalny, and suspicions of paying royalties for the murder of American soldiers in Afghanistan.
The poisoning of Navalny by Novichok and the harsh sentence imposed on him were condemned by representatives of many countries. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called the result of the trial over Navalny "a blow to fundamental freedoms and the rule of law in Russia" and demanded that the politician be released immediately. As noted by finanz.ru, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, French President Emmanuel Macron, head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell and head of the European Council Charles Michel made similar statements.
France's reaction to Navalny's verdict was heightened by Macron's statement on Twitter, written in Russian: “The verdict for Alexey Navalny is unacceptable. Political disagreement is by no means a crime. We call for his immediate release. The observance of human rights, as well as of democratic freedoms, cannot be a subject of discussion”, - the French president said.