Government officials announced this morning that they're imposing sanctions on members of Vladimir Putin's Russian regime for the first time under the Biden administration.
With more to follow, the first round of sanctions are a response to Putin's attempted assassination of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
“Russia’s attempt to kill Mr. Navalny follows an alarming pattern of chemical weapons use by Russia,” a senior Biden administration official told reporters on a call.
The officials said seven senior Russian government officials would face sanctions, such as asset freezes. In addition 14 entities associated with Russia’s biological and chemical agent production, including 13 commercial parties and a government research institute, were levied punitive measures.
The U.S. moves were being taken in coordination with the European Union.
This is a significant action, but it's also just the beginning.
Biden administration officials say this is only the first of several rounds of sanctions that will finally respond to actions taken while Trump was in office. Among other things, that includes Russia's massive hack that originated at SolarWinds and their bounty program that put a price on the heads of American service members in Afghanistan.
Trump either didn't acknowledge Russia's role or actively defended Putin's regime in most cases over the last four years. The Trump regime never officially acknowledged that Russia places bounties on American troops because that would require a response that Trump was never willing to give.
The Republican party used to present itself as the Party of The Troops, or whatever, but Trump used The Troops like political chess pieces. He deployed them to our southern border with Mexico for the optics. He deployed them to Saudi Arabia to protect a regime that tortured and murdered a Washington Post columnist. He ordered them to withdraw from Germany just because he hates German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He never responded to Russia's bounty program.
We have a long way to go to regain the moral leadership we lost under Trump, but this is a start.