FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Navalny attends a court hearing in Moscow
FILE - Russian opposition leader Navalny attends a court hearing in Moscow, Feb 25, 2021.

The Biden administration Tuesday announced sanctions on several Russian individuals for what it says is their role in the attempted murder of Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny.

The sanctions were being coordinated with the European Union, which already had imposed sanctions against a small number of Russian officials in connection with the Navalny case.

 “We’re sending a clear signal to Russia that there are consequences for the use of chemical weapons,” a senior administration official said.

Navalny was hospitalized in August after falling ill on a flight in Serbia. He was medically evacuated to Germany, where doctors determined he had been poisoned.  French, Swedish and German labs, as well the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, determined Navalny was exposed to the chemical nerve agent Novichok.  Russia denied any involvement in the matter.

Navalny returned to Russia early this year and was immediately arrested. He was sent to a prison outside of Moscow to serve a 2 ½ year sentence for violating the terms of his probation while convalescing in Germany.

The Biden administration has called for his release.