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Joe Biden 'is preparing to impose sanctions on Russia'

Joe Biden's administration is preparing to impose sanctions on Russia for the poisoning and imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, CNN reported on Monday.

A Biden executive order could also trigger sanctions on Russia for the SolarWinds cybersecurity hack for which Russia is the prime suspect, it is claimed.  

The sanctions would be Biden's first on Russia, and would be a marked departure from his predecessor Donald Trump's approach to dealing with Moscow.

The US will co-ordinate with the EU to determine what the sanctions will entail and their exact timing, according to Biden administration officials.    

Joe Biden, pictured, is said to be preparing to impose sanctions on Russia after signalling a tougher stance towards Moscow than his predecessor Donald Trump 

Vladimir Putin, pictured, is accused of meddling in US elections and conspiring to poison Alexei Navalny, but the Kremlin denies these charges 

Trump was often accused of taking a soft line towards Vladimir Putin after US intelligence agencies found Moscow had meddled in the 2016 election. 

During a 2018 summit in Helsinki, Trump caused widespread outrage by backing Putin's denials of Russian interference.   

But Biden has signalled a tougher stance, with Western countries at loggerheads with Russia over the jailing of Navalny and crackdown on protests in his name. 

An intelligence review under Biden is also considering the allegation that Russia placed bounties on US soldiers in Afghanistan, it is claimed. 

The EU approved sanctions on four senior Russian officials earlier on Monday, while UN experts called for an international probe into Navalny's poisoning.

Europe's sanctions are targeting four justice and law enforcement officers involved in Navalny's detention. 

The four are the first individuals to be targeted under the EU's new human rights sanctions regime, which came into effect in December. 

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny gives a V-for-victory sign inside a glass cage at a Moscow district court last month 

They will be banned from travelling to the EU and any assets held in the 27-member bloc will be frozen.

Meanwhile, Agnes Callamard, a UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, and Irene Khan, the top expert on freedom of opinion and expression, insisted on the need to ensure accountability for Navalny's 'sinister poisoning.'

They demanded his 'immediate release' from a Russian penal colony, where he was transferred last week from a Moscow prison.

Navalny was jailed last month after returning to Moscow from Germany, where the 44-year-old had spent months recovering from his Novichok poisoning last year. 

The opposition leader blames Putin for the attack with the Soviet-era military nerve agent, but the Kremlin denies it was behind the attack.

The imprisoning of Putin's best-known opponent sparked nationwide protests that saw thousands of demonstrators detained and triggered outrage in the West.

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