Navalny is seen on a screen via a video link from his penal colony during court hearings on June 22, 2023 AFP

The White House announced on Tuesday that it will impose new "major sanctions" against Russia following the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan described the upcoming sanctions package, which will be unveiled this Friday, as "substantial" and targeting "elements of the Russian defense industrial base and sources of revenue for the Russian economy," AP News reported.

U.S. Blames Putin for Navalny's Death, Details of Sanctions Unclear

While the official cause of death remains unknown, the U.S. holds Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby stated, "Regardless of the scientific answer, Putin's responsible for it."

Meanwhile, Russian authorities have not disclosed the cause of Navalny's death, leading to over 300 detentions in Russia as the country mourns the loss of Putin's fiercest foe.

Existing Sanctions and Proposals for Further Measures

Existing sanctions against Russia include restrictions on individuals, firms, financial institutions, and energy exports. The sanctions include freezing Russian Central Bank funds, banning specific Russian goods, limiting Russian banks' access to SWIFT -- the dominant system for global financial transactions -- and imposing a $60-per-barrel cap on Russian oil and diesel.

Policy experts propose additional measures like lowering the oil price cap and seizing Russian Central Bank funds.

While some, like Charles Kupchan of Georgetown University, view sanctions as less impactful than military and economic aid to Ukraine, others like Stephen Sestanovich of the Council on Foreign Relations believe there's room for further tightening the screws.

Navalny's Family Appeals for Release of Body

Amidst the sanctions announcement, Navalny's mother, Lyudmila, appealed to Putin for the release of her son's body for a dignified burial. The Kremlin, however, maintains the cause of death is under investigation and has denied the request for the next two weeks.

Global Response to Navalny's Death

Navalny's death has sparked international condemnation and tributes. His widow vowed to continue his fight against the Kremlin, while Russians across the country mourned his passing. Over 300 individuals were detained during demonstrations following his death.

Further Developments Expected

With the announcement of new sanctions and ongoing calls for accountability, the situation surrounding Navalny's death is likely to remain in the spotlight.

As tensions rise, the U.S. and its allies consider the next steps to address Navalny's death and curtail Russian aggression. The sanctions, once unveiled, are expected to target key sectors supporting Russia's war machine, signaling a firm response from the international community.