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The European Union and the United States began once again acting in concert against Russia, this time over Alexey Navalny’s alleged poisoning with the incredible, one-of-a-kind “super-duper” nerve agent Novichok. On March 2nd, both announced coordinated sanctions, which from the US include export and visa restrictions.
These measures are redundant as they limit defense exports to Russia, something which is already blocked. However, they could even limit space exploration exports and services. The measures come as a result of an investigation by the United States intelligence community, which concluded with “high confidence” that Alexey Navalny was poisoned with the Novichok chemical agent.
It is a type of poison that is incredibly dangerous as it has led to Russia being subjected to sanctions over its purported use on more than one occasion – currently over Navalny and previously over Sergei and Yulia Skripal.
All three of the listed individuals are alive and well so it would appear that the incredibly potent and dangerous nerve agent Novichok continually fails to do what it’s theoretically supposed to do. One thing it does sufficiently well however, is to serve as a fine justification for sanctions. In addition to those covering exports, the EU and US also limited the travel and froze the assets of various Russian officials – the head of the Investigative Committee, the Prosecutor General, the Head of the National Guard, and the head of the Prison Service.
The US went a step further also sanctioning the head of the Russian security service FSB and both Russian deputy defense ministers.
These sanctions took place 2 days after Navalny was sent to an “infamous prison camp” – Correctional Facility No 2, a jail approximately 100 kilometers east of Moscow.
MSM calls it a manual labor camp, where prisoners live in barracks and the “administration controls every aspect of life”. According to Navalny’s supporters, conditions there are incredibly harsh. Other opposition figures who have served jail time claim that it is simply a new-age GULAG. Notably, the camp allows prisoners to take walks, speak to other inmates and actually reduce their sentence by working. In comparison to established, democratic prisons such as Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, which treat their inmates to frequent torture such as waterboarding, it is indeed a pitiful place.
In what could be considered a setback for the democratic world, Amnesty International stripped Navalny of his “prisoner of conscience” status because of his “advocacy of hatred” in the past. In the present, he is still advocating hatred, as witnessed by his trial over the slander of a World War 2 veteran and continuous harassment of the same individual by himself and his aides.
Sergei Skripal’s alleged poisoning took place on March 4th, 2018. Now, almost exactly three years later, new US and EU sanctions for the alleged poisoning of Navalny also with Novichok are in place. Prepare for yet another “wild ride” that will last a few years and lead to nothing but harsh rhetoric and further sanctioning.
Those who claim the EU and US encroach on Russia’s sovereign affairs should think again. This is just global democracy in action.