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

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Sen. Mitt Romney (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.”

The Utah senator linked to legislation he co-sponsored with Sens. Chris van Hollen (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Coons (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 Putin 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.

Tags Ben Cardin Chris Coons Chris Van Hollen Marco Rubio Mitt Romney Poisoning Russia sanctions Senate Vladimir Putin
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