Canada announces additional sanctions against Russian government for its responsibility in death of Alexei Navalny

News release

June 18, 2024 – Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today announced that Canada is imposing additional sanctions on 13 individuals under the Special Economic Measures (Russia) Regulations.

These sanctions are imposed in relation to the February 16, 2024, death of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and Russia’s continued gross and systematic violations of human rights.

The individuals targeted are senior officials and high-ranking employees of Russia’s investigation agency, penitentiary service and police force who were involved in the ill-treatment and death of Mr. Navalny. This includes the poisoning of Mr. Navalny with a Novichok-type chemical nerve agent in 2020, his unlawful detention at a Moscow airport in 2021 on his return to Russia, following treatment for the poisoning in Germany, the failure to uphold his human rights while he was incarcerated, the failure to investigate the cause of his death and the lengthy delay in handing over his remains to his family.

Minister Joly today spoke with Yulia Navalnaya, Chairwoman of the Advisory Council for the Anti-Corruption Foundation and the widow of Alexei Navalny, to share the announcement. Minister Joly also reiterated Canada’s ongoing commitment to hold those who commit human rights abuses to account, including standing up against the Putin regime and work towards a Russia free from corruption.


“As we are living in a period of multiple interconnected crises, it is important to keep the focus on the efforts of Russians in their fight for basic rights and freedom. Today’s sanctions further demonstrate a strong front against the Kremlin’s continued gross violations of human rights and its suppression of Russian civil society and political opposition.”

- 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 Federal Security Service 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, 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, August 2023 and March 2024, 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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