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Navalny Pens Op-Ed for New York Times, Proposes Sanctions List to the West

Published: March 21, 2014 (Issue # 1802)



  • Alexei Navalny has written an op-ed for the New York Times in which he calls for sanctions on officials and businessmen connected to President Vladimir Putin.
    Photo: Denis Abramov / Vedomosti

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, currently under house arrest in connection with a criminal case against him, has written an op-ed for the New York Times in which he calls for sanctions on officials and businessmen connected to President Vladimir Putin.

Saying that previous U.S. and EU sanctions in response to Russian military forces in Crimea were "mocked" and acted as "tacit encouragement to Mr. Putin and his entourage," Navalny urged further sanctions "freezing the oligarchs' financial assets and seizing their property."

Navalny's suggested sanctions list included billionaire businessmen Gennady Timchenko, Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, Yury Kovalchuk, Roman Abramovich, Alisher Usmanov, Russian Railways head Vladimir Yakunin, Gazprom head Alexei Miller and Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin.

The opposition leader, whose blog was recently blocked for presenting "extremist material," also urged the West to place sanctions against owners of pro-Kremlin media personalities and United Russia "apparatchiks."

Russia's annexation of Crimea, "has polarized members of Russia's elite, many of whom view it as reckless" Navalny said, adding that "blocking access to their plush London apartments will show that Mr. Putin's folly comes with serious costs." He also speculated that sanctions against wealthy businesspeople would be welcomed by most Russians.

On Thursday Navalny's blog published the results of a poll in which the largest percentage of respondents, presumably his readers, said that businessmen close to Putin — like Timchenko and the Rotenbergs — should be sanctioned. Despite Navalny's LiveJournal blog being blocked for extremism, other opposition bloggers have reposted the activist lawyer's material on their own websites.

Navalny has become a leading figure in the anti-Kremlin opposition after investigating official's corruption and said in his op-ed ,"in 90 percent of those cases, Russian money was laundered in the West." In September he ran for Moscow mayor and received 27 percent of the vote.

Late last month a Moscow district court ruled that Navalny had violated travel restrictions imposed on him as part of a fraud case that observers believe to be politically motivated, confining the politician to house arrest.

Read Navalny's op-ed here: How to Punish Putin





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 24


SPIBA’s ongoing “Breakfast with the Director” series continues today, featuring Tomas Hajek, Managing Director of the Northwest Division at Danone Russia. Hajek will be discussing collaborations between businesses from different cultures. The meeting is at 9 a.m. at the Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel and all who wish to attend must confirm their participation by Oct. 23.


Get your gong on at “Sounds of the Universe,” a concert at the city planetarium this evening incorporating six different gongs to create relaxing songs that will transport you upwards into the stratosphere. Tickets are 700 rubles ($17).



Saturday, Oct. 25


AVA Expo, the eighth edition of the event revolving around all things pop culture, returns to Lenexpo this weekend. Geeks, nerds, dweebs and dorks will have their chance to talk science fiction and explore a variety of international pop culture. Tickets for the event can be purchased on their website at avaexpo.ru.



Sunday, Oct. 26


Zenit St. Petersburg returns home for the first time in nearly a month as they host Mordovia Saransk in a Russian Premier League game. Currently at the top of the league thanks to their undefeated start to the season, the northern club hopes to extend the gap between them and second-place CSKA Moscow and win the title for the first time in three years. Tickets are available at the stadium box office or on the club’s website.



Monday, Oct. 27


Today marks the end of the art exhibit “Neophobia” at the Erarta Museum. Artists Alexey Semichov and Andrei Kuzmin took a neo-modernist approach to represent the array of fears that are ever-present throughout our lives. Tickets are 200 rubles ($4.90).



Tuesday, Oct. 28


The Domina Prestige St. Petersburg hotel plays host to SPIBA’s Marketing and Communications Committee’s round table discussion on “Government Relations Practices in Russia” this morning. The discussion starts at 9:30 a.m. and participation must be confirmed by Oct. 24.



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