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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

Thursday, Sept. 18


Get your nerd on at Boomfest, St. Petersburg’s answer to the United States’ popular ComicCon. Starting today, this international festival of comics will take over venues throughout the city center and includes exhibitions of comics and illustrations, film screenings, competitions and the chance to meet the genre’s authors, artists and experts.



Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBA’s newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is “Handmade in Germany,” an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during today’s “Djembe and Vuvuzela,” a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of today’s round table discussion on “Interaction with Trade Unions” being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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