Whereas the Navalny case was a vivid instance of Russian brutality — his F.S.B. attackers stalked him as he traveled throughout Europe and apparently utilized the nerve agent to his underwear — the Biden administration sees SolarWinds as a extra direct assault on america. Jake Sullivan, the nationwide safety adviser, mentioned the response “won’t merely be sanctions” and hinted at some sort of covert response as effectively.

However within the Navalny case, solely sanctions had been introduced — and so they may need little impact. Historical past means that sanctions work higher, if in any respect, on smaller, much less highly effective nations, after which solely over time. They’re usually used to sign disapproval with out a lot expectation of modified conduct.

As Carl Bildt, the previous prime minister and international minister of Sweden, mentioned: “Sanctions have turn into highly regarded in Congress, and so they’re changing into common with the E.U., too. In case you don’t have some other devices, sanctions are highly regarded.”

In 2018, the Trump administration announced sanctions against Russia for using a nerve agent in opposition to Sergei Skripal, a former Russian double agent residing in Britain, and his daughter, Yulia, and expelled dozens of Russian diplomats. However that proved little deterrent to the F.S.B. utilizing the identical method in opposition to Mr. Navalny and Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian dissident who was poisoned, in 2015 and 2017, and almost died each instances.

A senior American official mentioned that the motion introduced on Tuesday was in some ways catching as much as designations that the Europeans had already made. The official mentioned the principle effort was to guarantee that america and Europe had been “on the identical web page” after a number of months through which European sanctions went past any imposed by Washington.

The European Union on Monday accredited sanctions on 4 senior Russian officers thought of chargeable for the prosecution and imprisonment of Mr. Navalny.

The choice, accredited by the member states, went into impact on Tuesday and represents the primary time the European Union has used new powers beneath its model of the Magnitsky Act, which permits Brussels to impose sanctions on human rights violators worldwide.