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Canada sanctions 13 more Russians for role in Navalny's imprisonment and death

OTTAWA — Canada has sanctioned 13 more Russians, targeting officials who played a role in the poisoning, imprisonment and death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Canada is sanctioning 13 more Russians from the country's intelligence service, police force and its corrections system for their role in the poisoning, imprisonment and death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. A woman wears a photograph of deceased Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a service in St. Mary's Church on the occasion of his birthday, in Berlin, Tuesday, June 4, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-dpa, Christoph Gollnow

OTTAWA — Canada has sanctioned 13 more Russians, targeting officials who played a role in the poisoning, imprisonment and death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly advised Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, of the additional sanctions in a phone call Tuesday.

Navalnaya, who has taken up her husband's anticorruption work since his death, was to meet with Joly and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Ottawa in person on Tuesday.

However, technical difficulties delayed her flight from the United States. The visit is now being rescheduled but the sanctions have been registered.

Joly said she told Navalnaya that Canada holds the Kremlin "fully responsible" for her husband's death.

Navalny died Feb. 16 at a Russian penal colony where he was serving a 19-year sentence for what Canada considers trumped up charges designed to silence an opposition politician who was causing problems for President Vladimir Putin.

Canada sanctioned six Russians within two weeks of Navalny's death, including the head of the "Polar Wolf" penal colony where he died, a judge and a prosecutor.

The latest list adds 13 more names and expands the offences to include not only his death but also the 2020 nerve agent attack that almost killed him, and actions that resulted in his false imprisonment.

They include Russian security agent Aleksei Anatolyevich Aleksandrov, whom the United States said in 2023 was identified as one of the main agents involved in the poisoning. Navalny became severely ill on a plane and only survived when the pilot diverted the plane.

He was eventually evacuated from Russia and treated for nerve agent poisoning in Germany.

Also on the list is the head of Russia's penitentiary system in Moscow, Sergey Anatolyevich Moroz, who contributed to the warrant that led to Navalny's arrest upon returning to Russia in 2021.

Elena Alekseevna Korobkova, the head of the department in Russia that handles justice system sentences, is sanctioned for her role preparing documents used to sentence him.

Edgar Manvelovich Seropyan, the head of a Russian investigative committee, is sanctioned for preventing the release of Navalny's body to his family.

His body was eventually handed over to his mother on Feb. 24. He was buried March 1 in Moscow. Police detained hundreds of people who tried to lay flowers in his memory.

Russia has denied any involvement in Navalny's death, saying he collapsed while out for a walk at the prison and could not be revived.

During a visit to Ukraine about a week after Navalny died, Trudeau said Putin had Navalny executed because Putin is weak and too scared to face a real opponent.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 18, 2024.

The Canadian Press