Saturday, December 4

Russia expands sanctions against several EU countries over Navalni case

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Russia extended the sanctions against several countries of the European Union (EU) who were the initiators of the restrictions imposed by Brussels on senior Russian officials allegedly involved in the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexéi Navalni.

“The corresponding verbal note” has already been delivered to the heads of the diplomatic legations of Germany, France and Sweden, in addition to the EU embassy in Moscow, says the statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry.

According to the official note, the sanctions respond to “principle of reciprocity” and the senior officials of the affected European countries will be prohibited from entering the territory of the Russian Federation.

“On the list are those who participated in the instigation of the anti-Russian sanctioning activity within the framework of the EU,” he says.

The Russian Foreign Ministry insists that “unfriendly actions by Western countries will now receive an adequate response.”

“We consider categorically unacceptable the adoption by the EU (…) of illegal restrictive measures in relation to several of our compatriots with the excuse of their alleged participation in the incident with the Russian citizen Navalni, “the note states.

Moscow recalls that the initiators of the European sanctions did not present “evidence”, not only to Russia, but also to other EU member countries.

Naval, envenenado con Novichok

Mid november Russia sanctioned only representatives of Germany and France, who drew up a list of sanctioned Russian officials accompanied by “evidence” about the poisoning of Navalni last August with a toxic agent from the Novichok group, a Soviet and Russian-made chemical.

Specialists from Germany, where Navalni was admitted after falling into a coma in mid-August in Siberia, found clear evidence that the opponent had been poisoned with Novichok, which was corroborated by other laboratories in France and Sweden.

Russia decided to extend the sanctions after last week the digital media Bellingcat, its partners “Der Spiegel” and CNN, together with Navalni, denounced that a group of experts in chemical weapons from the FSB was involved in their poisoning.

According to this investigation, FSB operatives followed Navalni on his trips to Russia between 2017 and 2020, including last August in Tomsk, where the opponent was poisoned.

In addition, on Monday the opponent published a recording in which he allegedly started a confession to one of the FSB agents who participated in the secret operation for his murder, the chemist Konstantín Kudriavtsev.

The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, assured last week at a press conference that the US is behind this investigation and, for the first time, justified the fact that the opponent is being watched by the FSB for having the support of the US intelligence services.

Putin, who never cites Navalni by name, has blamed German authorities for refusing to cooperate with Russia to shed light on the crime and denied that there are grounds for initiating a criminal case.

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