US President Joe Biden must impose more sanctions on the entourage of Russian President Vladimir Putin. That is what Vladimir Ashurikov, an ally of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny believes. The Kremlincriticus has been imprisoned since his return to Russia. He was arrested immediately after his recovery in Germany from a poisoning.
“ The current sanctions do not hit the right people enough,” writes Ashurikov in a letter to President Biden, which he posted on his Facebook page on Saturday. Ashuerkov mentioned the names of 35 people, including oligarch Roman Abramovich, senior government officials and top men of state-owned enterprises, against whom, according to Ashurkov, sanctions should be imposed.
“ Less will not cause the regime to change its behavior,” says Ashurkov. According to him, the West must punish the people concerned for being in charge of “committing electoral fraud, stealing government money and poisoning people.” Navalny and his allies also want people and businesses that manage Putin‘s entourage money to be punished.
Navalny was arrested on 17 January when he returned from Germany, where he recovered from a neurotoxin assassination attempt in August. According to Navalny, Western governments and citizen journalism network Bellingcat, Russian security forces are behind the attack.
A Russian court ruled earlier this month that Navalny should stay in custody for at least a month.
He is sentenced to 3.5 years in prison for violating the terms of his probation on a previous parole sentence. Navalny’s appeal against his sentence has proved to be in vain.
Putin, who denies having anything to do with the assassination attempt on Navalny, has repeatedly complained about the Western sanctions, which he considers to be unfair. The Russian leader has sworn that he will not change his course under the pressure from outside.
The opposition leader complained during the appeal that he had limited contact with his lawyer. He would not have been given the opportunity to speak privately with the lawyer since his arrest. The judge decided to let the duo talk over a video connection for five minutes.
The arrest of Navalny is causing unrest in Russia. Tens of thousands of supporters went out to the streets last weekend demanding the release of the prominent Kremlincriticus. It was estimated that the police arrested nearly 4,000 people at the time. Nevertheless, the opposition has called for new protests. These are to be held next Sunday, including at FSB‘s headquarters.
Police raided the houses of Navalny’s supporters on Wednesday night. The authorities would argue that coronavirus rules were violated during the recent mass protests.