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EU Imposed New Sanctions against Russia
October 15, 2020 16:11

The European Union imposed sanctions against six Russians and a scientific institute because of Navalny. The FSB director and the deputy head of the Kremlin administration fell under the restrictions.

The European Union imposed sanctions against six Russians and a Russian scientific institute due to the poisoning of the founder of the Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK), Alexei Navalny. This is reported in the official EU journal.

The sanctions list includes the first deputy head of the Kremlin administration Sergei Kiriyenko, FSB director Alexander Bortnikov, head of the administration's internal policy department Andrei Yarin, deputy defense ministers Pavel Popov and Alexei Krivoruchko, and presidential envoy to the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyailo. In addition, the list included the Russian State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT). The sanctions imply travel restrictions and asset freeze.

The EU Council suspects that  Kiriyenko, Yarin and Menyailo, given their leadership positions, "encouraged or supported  people who poisoned or were involved in the poisoning" of Navalny by Novichok. Yarin was also appointed to a special group within the administration, the purpose of which was "to counteract Navalny's influence on Russian society, including through operations aimed at discrediting him," the report says.

Brussels also suspects Bortnikov and Popov of providing assistance to those who poisoned Navalny. In the case of Krivoruchko, the council emphasizes that he is responsible for weapons. "The use of chemical weapons on Russian territory could only have been the result of neglect on the part of the Defense Ministry and its political leadership," the statement said.

Navalny was "the target of systematic government persecution and repression" because of his "prominent role in the political opposition," the EU council emphasizes. The authorities "closely watched" the politician's actions during his trip to Siberia, a German laboratory found the poison of the Novichok group in his body, and laboratories in France and Sweden confirmed these data, the report says. “In such conditions, it would be reasonable to conclude that the poisoning of Alexei Navalny was possible only with the consent of the presidential administration,” the EU Council points out.

Until 1994, GosNIIOKhT was involved in the development and production of chemical weapons, including Novichok, and then became a participant in the program to destroy stocks of chemical weapons inherited from the USSR, the council notes. The report emphasizes that the Novichok is available only to the Russian authorities, and its use is possible only if the institute "has not fulfilled its obligation" to destroy the weapons.

In addition, the council “remains seriously concerned about the situation in Libya,” in connection with which sanctions were imposed against businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. The message emphasizes that Prigozhin is "closely connected", including financially, with Wagner's private military company and supports its activities in Libya, which "threaten the peace, stability and security" of the country. We are talking about several cases of violation of the UN arms embargo, as well as the transportation of weapons and mercenaries to the country, according to the magazine. Prigozhin told Interfax that he has no business projects in Libya and is "very upset" about the imposition of sanctions.

The UK also announced that it would impose sanctions on individuals and institutions listed by the EU Council. “The United Kingdom and its partners have come to the conclusion that there is no other convincing explanation for the poisoning of Mr. Navalny other than Russia's involvement and responsibility,” the official statement said.

Press Secretary of Russian President Vladimir Putin Dmitry Peskov called the imposition of sanctions "a deliberate unfriendly step towards Russia," RIA Novosti reports. “The sad side of this issue is that no logic of such a decision can be seen, absolutely no logic - this is probably exactly the aggravating circumstances of such a decision adopted by the EU Council,” Peskov said. He stressed that Russia will respond to the sanctions in accordance with its interests.

Navalny became ill during the flight from Tomsk to Moscow. He ended up in a coma and on a ventilator. For two days he was in the hospital in Omsk, where the plane landed urgently, for another 32 days - in the Berlin clinic "Charite".

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Alexei Navalny sanctions Russia international   

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