Thursday, March 20, 2014

Navalny Proposes Punishing Putin

Prominent Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, now under home detention, published an article in The New York Times, entitled "How to Punish Putin," proposing a system of sanctions against Russian officials and the businessmen (identified by names) linked to the government, whom Navalny calls "the Kremlin mafia." "Western nations could deliver a serious blow to the luxurious lifestyles enjoyed by the Kremlin’s cronies who shuttle between Russia and the West. This means freezing the oligarchs’ financial assets and seizing their property," Navalny says. "Second, Western authorities must investigate ill-gotten gains from Russia within their jurisdictions," he continues. Navalny also criticizes Russia's "invasion of Ukraine." "Mr. Putin has cynically raised nationalist fervor to a fever pitch; imperialist annexation is a strategic choice to bolster his regime’s survival," he comments. "There is a common delusion among the international community that although Mr. Putin is corrupt, his leadership is necessary because his regime subdues the dark, nationalist forces that otherwise would seize power in Russia. The West should admit that it, too, has underestimated Mr. Putin’s malign intent. It is time to end the dangerous delusion that enables him," Navalny concludes.

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