The US State Department claims that Moscow has violated the US law on control over chemical and biological weapons.
It is interesting that the representatives of the US Republican Party spoke out for the introduction of a new round of sanctions "in defense of Alexei Navalny": they appealed with this initiative to the administration of Joe Biden, who, as you know, represents the Democratic Party. However, the White House realized that ex-President Donald Trump was personally behind the actions of Senator James Risch and Member of the House of Representatives Michael McCall, who is looking for any opportunity to prick the owner of the White House.
In March of this year, the first package of sanctions under the American law of 1991 against the Russian Federation on the "poisoning of Navalny" came into force. Then the restrictions related to the provision of foreign aid, the sale of arms to Russia, the refusal to provide loans or other financial assistance by the US government. The export of goods and technologies sensitive to national security was prohibited. It was also about the so-called presumption of refusal and the intention to consider each case on an individual basis.
At the same time, at the same time, Washington decided, as an exception, not to touch the restriction clause concerning the export of products related to aviation and space.
The second round of sanctions should have been initiated if Russia did not abandon its intentions. But this, according to Congressmen Risch and McCall, did not happen in a year. On the contrary, the scandal with the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny in the Yves Rocher case for 2 years and 8 months intensified. At the suggestion of Trump, Republicans said that by allowing this, Biden "showed weakness as president."
The US authorities announced new sanctions against Russia on August 20, the anniversary of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. This time, Washington said that Russia violated the American law on the control of chemical and biological weapons and the prohibition of their military use of 1991, which served as the legal basis for the restrictions.
What exactly did the Americans ban this time with regard to Russia?
According to the representatives of the US State Department, restrictions are being introduced on the "permanent import of certain types of Russian firearms." From now on, the US Department of Commerce will impose additional export restrictions on products and technologies related to the missile and nuclear fields.
It is even more significant that among the 14 firms and research institutes included in the US sanctions list there are six research centers of the Russian Ministry of Defense: the 33rd Central Research Institute (located in Shikhany, where the Novichok chemical weapon was once created, the 27th Research Center of the Ministry of Defense RF, as well as the 48th Central Research Institute and its two branches.
At the same time, the TASS agency recalled: the sanctions also include "the extension of the duration of the measures introduced on March 2, 2021, as well as in 2018 and 2019 in response to the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter," as well as exceptions related to these restrictions.
In 2018 and 2019, in connection with the Skripals case against Russia, two packages of sanctions were introduced, the legal basis for which was the law of 1991. At the same time, a number of restrictions introduced due to the situation with Navalny duplicate the restrictions associated with the Skripals case.
All restrictions "must remain in effect for at least 12 months." But if the Russian side fulfills a number of US requirements, the sanctions will be lifted. At the same time, Moscow must prove to the US Congress that Russia has fulfilled several conditions set out in the 1991 law.
In this regard, Vladimir Batyuk, Chief Researcher at the Institute for the United States and Canada, explained to Novye Izvestia that Moscow would most likely be required to provide guarantees that it would not use chemical weapons in the future. For this, neither more nor less, the authorities will have to allow international inspectors to check the relevant facilities on the territory of Russia".
Russian Ambassador to Washington Anatoly Antonov said that these sanctions indicate one thing: the Americans continue to follow the course of further undermining relations with Russia. He also stressed that no evidence of Russia's use of "chemical warfare agents was provided." According to the diplomat, Russia, unlike the United States, completely eliminated all its stocks of chemical weapons back in 2017, which was confirmed by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Maria Zakharova threatened: "Russia will toughly and adequately respond to US sanctions in connection with the incident around Navalny".
Military observer Alexander Golts believes that in this case we are talking about a direct violation of the most important obligations, which, in principle, calls into question the existing system of international security. The purpose of the sanctions is not only and not so much to punish Moscow for persecuting one of its citizens, but rather to prevent further violations of the chemical weapons convention.
The head of the Center for International Security of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexei Arbatov, told NI that it was premature to comment on the introduction of new sanctions against Russia: we need to see what specific damage this could cause to our country. According to the expert, “most likely, none”.
Political scientist Vladimir Batyuk told Novye Izvestia that he does not understand why Russia is accused of using a chemical warfare agent "?
- It is known that they attempted to assassinate Navalny in places where many people were present. But only he and no one else suffered. Where is "Novichok" here? In my opinion, there are still a lot of unclear technical issues, - the expert believes.
Russia, Batyuk said, is supplying the United States with hunting carbines made on the basis of a Kalashnikov assault rifle. These products are quite popular there. Their import into the States will now be banned. American hunters and small arms enthusiasts will suffer.
It is known from media reports: Alexey Navalny was hospitalized in Omsk on August 20, 2020 after he fell ill on board. Later, with the permission of Moscow, he was taken to Berlin for treatment. The German government made a statement that Navalny was exposed to a poisonous substance from the Novichok group. These findings were confirmed by laboratories in France and Sweden.