The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on Russian individuals and entities over Russia's attempt to kill opposition figure Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent, senior Biden administration officials said.
The officials, speaking to reporters on a conference call, said the moves were being taken in coordination with the European Union. They reiterated US President Joe Biden's call for Russia to release Navalny from prison.
The sanctions were a response to what the officials said was a Russian attempt to assassinate Navalny last year, an accusation Russia denies. Biden's predecessor, former President Donald Trump, had not levied punishment on Russia over the Navalny attack.
Biden has taken a tougher approach to Russian President Vladimir Putin than Trump.
“The United States is neither seeking to reset our relations with Russia, nor are we seeking to escalate," one official said.
"We believe that the United States and our partners must be clear and impose costs when Russia’s behavior crosses boundaries that are respected by responsible nations, and we believe there should be guard rails on how these adversarial aspects of our relationship play out," the official said.