‘These Things Happen’ – Russia’s Cold Response to the Death of Opposition Leader, UK Leads on Sanctions

The UK became the first country to issue sanctions on Russia for the death of political opposition leader Alexei Navalny, a stern Putin critic. The death took an even darker turn as it was revealed Navalny’s potential release was near.

Talks on Navalny’s Releases

Recent statements from Maria Pevchikh, an associate of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, suggest that negotiations for Navalny’s release were in advanced stages before his reported death.

In a video statement, Pevchikh disclosed that she received confirmation about the progress of talks on February 15, a day before Navalny was allegedly found dead in his cell.

The UK became the first country to impose new sanctions on Russia after the news broke out about Navalny’s death, which has been condemned by a number of allied countries that assume Russia as the perpetrator.

On February 22, 2024, the UK Government unveiled over 50 designations targeting individuals and businesses supporting Russia’s war in Ukraine.

The sanctions primarily target entities involved in manufacturing munitions, key Russian importers and manufacturers, oil traders, diamond companies, and senior executives of metal producers.

Putin’s Response to Swap Queries

US commentator Tucker Carlson queried President Vladimir Putin about the possibility of a swap for Alexei Navalny, to which Putin expressed openness to negotiations.

“Alexei Navalny could have been sitting here now, today. It’s not a figure of speech,” argued Pevchikh before revealing details about the potential release deal.

According to Pevchikh, the negotiation involved swapping Navalny and two US citizens held in Russia for Vadim Krasikov, serving a life sentence in Germany for a 2019 killing in Berlin.

UK’s Human Rights Sanctions

After becoming the first country to sanction Russia in response to Navalny’s death, the UK also targeted six individuals responsible for alleged human rights violations.

After the death of the political opposition leader, the Russian responses were mixed, while some suspected foul play and laid flowers down in solidarity, others maintained the notion that his death was an accident.

The Kremlin’s response to Navalny’s death attempted to show compassion, despite allegations that the Russian government was alleged to be behind it, with several politicians issuing statements.

Deputy Suggests Lack of Motive

Vladimir Dzhabarov, the deputy head of the Duma’s foreign affairs committee, argued that Russia had no reason to harm Navalny’s health, absolutely no reason.”

According to Dzhabarov, Navalny’s death was merely an accident, “This person was serving his term. He still had a few years to go. I think it was a tragic accident. These things happen.”

Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zhakirov accused the West of making baseless allegations, “There are still no results of the forensic investigation, but the West is already drawing its conclusions,” she said.

Despite the Russian politicians’ responses, Navalny’s family has directly accused the Kremlin of the death, noting that they visited him in prison and he was “healthy and full of life.”

Sunak Accuses Putin of Death

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has accused Russia of the death of Alexei Navalny, calling it “terrible news” and hailing Navalny for the “incredible courage” he demonstrated “throughout his life.”

A spokesperson mentioned the “outrage” displayed by Sunak and European Commissioner President Ursula von der Leyen during their meeting, promising they would be “holding those responsible within the Russian system to account.”

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky told the world’s leaders that “It’s obvious he was killed by Putin,” speaking about the death of Navalny and urging more leaders to take action.

US Vice President Kamala Harris held Putin responsible for the death, saying, “Whatever story they tell, let us be clear: Russia is responsible.”

Russia has a history of allegations regarding the poisonings and executions of its political opponents, with Navalny’s death becoming even more despicable after the knowledge that he was about to be released.

The post ‘These Things Happen’ – Russia’s Cold Response to the Death of Opposition Leader, UK Leads on Sanctions first appeared on Pulse365 Limited.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Jonas Petrovas.

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