14:52 GMT16 April 2021
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    The European Union and US have both slapped sanctions on several Russian government officials and entities over the jailing and alleged poisoning of vlogger Alexei Navalny. The US Department of Commerce blacklisted a total of fourteen entities - ten of which are located in Russia - and several individuals already targeted by EU sanctions.

    Hours after Washington's initial sanctions announcement, the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) revealed that Switzerland's ChimConnnect, and Germany's ChimConnect, PharmContract and Riol-Chemie were included in their Entity List. 

    Russia's CHIMMED Group, Analit Products, LabInvest and seven additional Russian entities were also slapped with sanctions by the US Department of Commerce. 

    The BIS release highlighted that individuals, companies or organizations included in the Entity List are "reasonably believed to be involved, or to pose a significant risk of becoming involved, in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States." 

    The US imposition of sanctions comes shortly after the EU's own blacklisting of several entities and officials.

    Furthermore, United Nations Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard has accused Russia of "the attempted obituary killing of Mr. Navalny" via "suspected nerve agent had been developed in the Soviet Union."

    Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has responded to allegations and sanctions brought against Russian entities and government officials. 

    "The absurd triumphs when the reason for the imposition of sanctions is declared to be a deliberately arranged provocation with the alleged 'poisoning' of Navalny with some 'chemical weapons,'" she said.

    "All this is just an excuse to continue open interference in our internal affairs. We do not intend to put up with this. We will react on the basis of the principle of reciprocity, not necessarily symmetrically."

    Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny attends a hearing to consider an appeal against an earlier court decision to change his suspended sentence to a real prison term, in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2021.
    © REUTERS / MAXIM SHEMETOV
    Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny attends a hearing to consider an appeal against an earlier court decision to change his suspended sentence to a real prison term, in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2021.

    The Department of Commerce also highlighted it would be "assessing appropriate measures to be implemented" under the Export Administration Regulations, due to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's decision to restrict defense exports.

    "The Russian Government's use of chemical weapons is contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, as well as international law," the statement read. "The Department of Commerce is committed to preventing Russia from accessing sensitive U.S. technologies that might be diverted to its malign chemical and other weapons of mass destruction activities." 

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    US, Germany, Russia, US Department of Commerce
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