Politics Regional

EU agrees on Russia sanctions in the Navalny case

After the poison attack on the Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny, the EU will impose sanctions on six people and one organization from Russia. Representatives of the EU countries agreed on this in Brussels on Wednesday, as the German Press Agency learned from diplomats.

The punitive measures, which include EU entry bans and property freezes, are now to be formally adopted in a written procedure. They could take effect in the coming days.

According to information from EU circles, the persons concerned are, among others, employees of the security apparatus. The state research institute for organic chemistry and technology is named as the affected organization. Navalny had been poisoned with a military nerve agent from the Novichok group, according to the results of tests carried out by several laboratories in the EU.

The main initiators of the sanctions are Germany and France. They justified the move with the fact that Russia had not yet complied with requests for a complete investigation of the crime.

So far, Russia has not provided a credible explanation about the cruel attempted murder, according to a statement by Maas and his French colleague Jean-Yves Le Drian. It is therefore of the opinion “that there is no plausible explanation for the poisoning of Mr. Navalny other than Russian involvement and responsibility”.

According to the proposal, the punitive measures should target individuals “who, due to their official function, are considered responsible for this crime and the violation of international legal norms, as well as an institution that is involved in the Novichok program”.

The Russian Kremlin critic Navalny collapsed on August 20 while on a domestic flight in Russia. After an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk, he was transferred to the Berlin Charité at the urging of his family. The 44-year-old has since left the hospital, but has not yet fully recovered and is doing rehabilitation in the German capital.

Navalny suspects that Russian President Vladimir Putin is behind the poison attack on him. However, the Kremlin rejects such accusations as “absolutely not permissible”. The allegations were unfounded, said spokesman Dmitri Peskov.

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