Kremlin says any U.S. sanctions over Navalny will only worsen ties

FILE PHOTO: Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, who is accused of slandering a Russian World War Two veteran, is seen inside a defendant dock during a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, Russia February 16, 2021, in this still image taken from video. Press Service of Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow/Handout via REUTERS

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Tuesday that any new U.S. sanctions over the treatment of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny would not achieve their goal and would merely worsen already strained relations.

Two U.S. sources familiar with the matter have said that the United States is expected to impose sanctions to punish Russia for the poisoning of Navalny as early as Tuesday. The Kremlin has denied any role in Navalny’s illness last year and said it had seen no proof he was poisoned.

Reporting by Dmitry Antonov and Andrew Osborn; writing by Tom Balmforth; editing by Andrew Osborn