Minister Joly announces sanctions against the Russian government for the Kremlin’s responsibility for Alexei Navalny’s death

News release

March 3, 2024 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing another round of sanctions. Six Russian officials are sanctioned under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations related to the February 16, 2024, death of Russian opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, and to Russia’s continued gross and systematic violations of human rights.

The individuals targeted in Canada’s latest sanctions are senior officials and high-ranking employees of Russia’s prosecution, judicial and correctional services who were involved in the violation of Mr. Navalny’s human rights, his cruel punishment and ultimately, his death.

The latest measures build on several sanctions against Russian officials to put pressure on those involved in Mr. Navalny’s unjust prosecution since his return to Russia in January 2021, as well as the silencing—with heavy-handed and often violent methods—of Russian citizens who protested his treatment.


“The death of Alexei Navalny, a voice of hope for the Russian people, as well as a voice for freedom, justice, democracy and a better future for Russia, has created a shockwave of outrage and an outpouring of tributes from around the world. Alongside our partners, Canada will maintain pressure on the Russian government to conduct a full and transparent inquiry into the death of Mr. Navalny. Today’s measures are consistent with Canadian principles and values. This increased pressure on the Russian government sends a clear signal that human rights must be unequivocally respected.”

- Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Quick facts

  • Following the death of Mr. Navalny, Canada summoned Russia’s Ambassador to Canada, Oleg Stepanov, to demand a full and transparent investigation into his death.

  • Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny began his anti-corruption campaigning in 2007. From 2011 to 2020, he was falsely charged and imprisoned multiple times. In August 2020, he was attacked by Russian FSB operatives with a Novichok chemical agent banned under the Chemical Weapons Convention. He was then flown to Germany, where his recovery took more than 5 months. He returned to Russia in January 2021 and was immediately detained at the airport and subjected to a deeply flawed judicial process and imprisoned for over 3 years on dubious grounds. Subsequently, Mr. Navalny was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
  • In response to Mr. Navalny’s poisoning and imprisonment, on March 21, 2021, Canada sanctioned several individuals who participated in gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia. In November 2022 and August 2023, Canada announced sanctions against members of the Russian justice and security sectors, including police officers and investigators, prosecutors, judges and prison officials, as well as senior Russian government officials. These individuals have been involved in gross and systematic human rights violations in Russia against opposition leaders, including Alexei Navalny, Vladimir Kara-Murza, and other Russian citizens.

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