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Romney calls for Senate to pass sanctions on Putin over Navalny poisoning

Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyGraham: Trump can make GOP bigger, stronger, or he 'could destroy it' Democratic centrists flex power on Biden legislation Ron Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many MORE (R-Utah) on Tuesday called for the imposition of sanctions on Russia following the arrest of political opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was detained following his return to Moscow over the weekend.

“The corruption and lawlessness of the Putin regime continues to be on full display for the world to see. The detention of Navalny is yet another shameless attempt by Putin to silence the Russian people’s fight for freedom and democracy,” Romney tweeted Tuesday. “The U.S must hold him accountable.”

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The Utah senator linked to legislation he co-sponsored with Sens. Chris van Hollen (D-Md.), Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioGOP votes in unison against COVID-19 relief bill Hillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China MORE (R-Fla.), Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinCOVID-19 relief debate stalls in Senate amid Democratic drama Senate GOP will force clerks to read bill to delay COVID-19 relief vote OVERNIGHT ENERGY: House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 | Kerry presses oil companies to tackle climate change | Biden delays transfer of sacred lands for copper mine MORE (D-Md.) and Chris CoonsChris Andrew CoonsSenate approves sweeping coronavirus measure in partisan vote The eight Democrats who voted 'no' on minimum wage Justice Democrats call moderates' votes against minimum wage hike 'unconscionable' MORE (D-Del.) that would sanction Kremlin officials allegedly involved in Navalny’s poisoning with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.

Navalny became ill last year on a domestic flight to Siberia and was rushed to a Berlin hospital, where he was placed in a medically induced coma. After he was released from the hospital, Russia’s prison agency informed him that he would be in violation of the terms of a 2014 suspended sentence unless he returned to Moscow immediately.

Officials told Navalny that if he returned to Russia any later, he would be subject to arrest. Navalny has maintained the 2014 embezzlement conviction was politically motivated. Officials took him into custody at Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport Sunday.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied poisoning Navalny, and a spokesperson for President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinWhite House calls Microsoft email breach an 'active threat' As gas prices soar, Americans can blame Joe Biden How to think about Russia MORE dismissed him as suffering from a persecution complex.

However, last year Navalny impersonated a Kremlin intelligence official and recorded a call in which an FSB toxins expert seemingly confirmed the poison was applied to the inseam of his underpants. Russia stuck to its denial after the recording was released.