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Menendez calls for sanction on Russia after Navalny protests

Menendez calls for sanction on Russia after Navalny protests

Sen. Bob MenendezRobert (Bob) MenendezBiden rebuffs Democrats, keeps refugee admissions at 15,000 Bottom line The Memo: Biden's five biggest foreign policy challenges MORE (D-N.J.), the incoming chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote a letter to Secretary of State Antony BlinkenAntony BlinkenThe era of climate statecraft is here Biden administration working with Congress to provide 0 million for civilian assistance in Afghanistan US targets state-owned Myanmar timber, pearl businesses with new sanctions MORE on Friday urging him to put sanctions on Russia after protests in support of opposition figure Alexei Navalny erupted in the country.

Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinUS, Russian officials discuss sanctions Menendez threatens sanctions on Russia if Navalny not given medical treatment More than 200 arrested in Navalny demonstrations in Russia MORE put thousands of protesters in jail after demonstrators turned out to protest the arrest of Navalny upon his return to Russia from Germany. Navalny was allegedly poisoned by Russian security services and arrested when he came back to the country. 

Menendez called for multiple sanctions against Russia for its acts and its handling of the Navalny protests, calling their response “disgraceful.”

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First, I strongly support the use of Russia Magnitsky sanctions to hold Russian officials accountable for violations of human rights,” Menendez said. He also called for “Global Magnitsky sanctions” along with “7031(c)” authority so visas can be denied to certain foreign actors.

Menendez said he also believes the poisoning of Navalny justifies sanctions under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991, while blasting Russia's crackdown on protesters.

The State Department did call for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Navalny over the weekend. White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiHillicon Valley: Tech companies duke it out at Senate hearing | Seven House Republicans vow to reject donations from Big Tech Vaccination slowdown could threaten recovery New signs of progress emerge on police reform MORE told reporters on Friday that President BidenJoe BidenCornyn, Sinema to introduce bill aimed at addressing border surge Harris to travel to Northern Triangle region in June Biden expected to formally recognize Armenian Genocide: report MORE also called for Navalny’s release in a phone call with Putin. 

On Monday, Psaki said the intelligence community will be looking into Russia’s activities, but did not say what actions Biden would take against the country. 

I urge the use of all available tools to give shape to these sentiments and to address this Kremlin aggression against its own people early in the tenure of the Biden administration,” Menendez said.