Friday, October 23, 2020

EU agrees to sanction Russians over Navalny poisoning

EU agrees to sanction Russians over Navalny poisoning

Luxembourg: European Union foreign ministers on Monday backed a Franco-German plan to impose sanctions on Russians suspected of poisoning Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny with a nerve agent, diplomats said.

Berlin and Paris made their proposal at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. They say they have not had a credible explanation from Moscow for what the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said was the presence of the banned Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok in Navalny’s body.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.Credit:AP

The speed with which the EU’s two main powers have agreed to push ahead with sanctions suggests a hardening of the bloc’s stance towards Moscow. It took almost a year for the EU to agree sanctions against Russians after a nerve agent attack in 2018 on a former Russian spy in Britain.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters that Navalny’s poisoning could not “remain without consequences”.

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