• 19 April, 2024
Geopolitics & National Security

Fresh Russian drone attacks in Ukraine raise sanction calls amid Navalny’s death

Tue, 20 Feb 2024   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Moscow [Russia], February 20 (ANI): Fresh Russian drone attacks were reported by Ukraine’s military amid growing pressure for new sanctions against Russia following the death of Alexey Navalny, Voice of America reported.
Ukraine’s air defences claimed to have destroyed all 23 Russian drones in multiple regions, including Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk, Kherson, and Mykolaiv. The Russian attack also included four guided missiles, with no immediate reports of damage or casualties.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal urged Japan and the European Union to enact new sanctions against Russia in response to the escalating situation. EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell emphasised on Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin “will be held accountable” for Navalny’s death, as reported by Voice of America.
US President Joe Biden, speaking at the White House on Monday, stated that his administration is considering additional sanctions against Russia. He squarely blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian leader’s “thugs” for Navalny’s death last week. “We already have sanctions, but we’re considering additional sanctions, yes,” Biden told reporters.
The death of Alexey Navalny adds complexity to Biden’s efforts to push a USD 95 billion package of international security assistance for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan through Congress. Despite bipartisan support and approval from the Democratic-controlled Senate, Speaker Mike Johnson, leader of the narrow Republican majority in the House of Representatives, has delayed sending the measure to the House floor for a vote. One of the reasons cited for the delay is the opposition from former President Donald Trump to the new aid, according to Voice of America.
Johnson expressed concerns about the foreign assistance package lacking new controls to prevent the influx of tens of thousands of illegal migrants crossing from Mexico into the United States.
Senate Republicans, following Trump’s lead, blocked consideration of a bipartisan proposal to tighten migration restrictions. Johnson has been demanding a meeting with Biden on the issue, and the president, who strongly supports increased aid to Ukraine, expressed openness to meeting with the House speaker.
“Sure, I’d be happy to meet with him if he has anything to say,” Biden told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House.
At the same time, Biden criticised Republican lawmakers for not continuing to fund Ukraine’s two-year fight to defend itself against Russia. “The way they’re walking away from the threat of Russia. The way they’re walking away from NATO. The way they’re walking away from meeting our obligations… I’ve never seen anything like it,” Biden remarked.
While Ukraine has received support from the US and Europe, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal highlighted the need for more long-range missiles to bolster the country’s air defences against Russian attacks. He expressed concern that Ukraine is at a disadvantage in the air, leading to consequences on the frontline.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy echoed these concerns, stating on Monday that Russia is taking advantage of delays in military aid to Ukraine. He described an “extremely difficult situation” in several parts of the front line, where Russian troops have concentrated maximum reserves.
In a related development, Russian media reported on Tuesday that authorities in Yekaterinburg detained a woman with US-Russian dual citizenship on allegations of providing financial assistance to Ukraine. The Federal Security Service (FSB) stated that it suppressed the “illegal activities” of a 33-year-old resident of Los Angeles. The woman has dual citizenship of Russia and the United States.
The US Embassy in Moscow confirmed awareness of the reports but declined to provide further comment on the situation, Voice of America reported. (ANI)

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