European Union to sanction 7 in Russian Federation over Navalny poisoning

  • European Union to sanction 7 in Russian Federation over Navalny poisoning

European Union to sanction 7 in Russian Federation over Navalny poisoning

In line with usual European Union practice, those targeted by the sanctions - travel bans and asset freezes - will not be named until the measures take legal effect on Thursday, but they are likely to be Russian officials.

The sanctions enter force on 15 October and will specifically target First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, Director of the Federal Security Service Aleksandr Bortnikov, as well as two Deputy Defence Ministers, Pavel Popov and Aleksei Krivoruchko.

The EU also sanctioned the State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT), a chemical weapons lab in Moscow that it says helped develop Novichok nerve agents before 1994 and which it said must have failed in its responsibility to destroy the weapons.

The statement comes hours after the European Union published an official decree, sanctioning the head of the Russian Federal Security Service, the first deputy head of the presidential administration, and several others over the Navalny case. "We are determined to hold those responsible to account", British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

In a phone call Tuesday with Mr. Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that the EU wishes to maintain open channels of communication with Russian Federation and to enhance cooperation on issues of mutual interest, according to a statement from Borrell's office.

"Moscow will analyze the situation and will act in accordance with its own interests", Peskov said, adding that "no logic can be seen in such a decision" by the EU.

The EU said it was imposing the sanctions in view of "the continued threat posed by the proliferation and use of chemical weapons".

The legal procedures were completed Thursday. The global chemical weapons watchdog later said it found a previously unknown strain of Novichok in Navalny's samples.

Navalny who is a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin and prominent anti-corruption campaigner had fallen ill on a domestic flight in Siberia on August 20 and was transported to Germany for treatment in a comatose state two days later.

Navalny was medevaced to Germany, where the government said its military scientists determined that he was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent. We respond in kind. "Yes, this is diplomatic practice, but it is also a diplomatic response", Lavrov underscored. Lavrov on Tuesday said Russian Federation might freeze its contacts with the 27-nation bloc, as officials there "don't understand the need for mutually respectful dialogue".

Lavrov specifically pointed at European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's recent statements ruling out a partnership with Russian Federation, saying that scenario will play out if that's what the EU wants.