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France and Germany to propose EU sanctions against Russia over Navalny’s poisoning

Germany and France are planning to share proposals for additional sanctions against Russia with their European partners, in response to the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny. This was announced in a joint statement from the two countries on Wednesday, October 7.

“France and Germany have repeatedly called on Russia to fully investigate the circumstances of this crime and to account for the perpetrators. No credible explanation has been provided by Russia so far. In this context, we consider that there is no other plausible explanation for Mr Navalny’s poisoning than a Russian involvement and responsibility,” the statement says.

According to the joint statement, the proposed sanctions will target individuals deemed responsible for involvement in the poisoning and for breaching international legal norms.

Two diplomatic sources told Reuters that the sanctions list will include a number of GRU military officials. The proposed sanctions are set to be discussed at the European Union foreign ministers’ meeting scheduled for next week.

On October 6, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with a cholinesterase inhibitor resembling a Novichok-type nerve agent. Earlier, Germany’s Foreign Ministry stated that international confirmation of Navalny’s poisoning would make sanctions against Russia inevitable.

The leaders of EU member states are set to discuss the situation surrounding Navalny’s poisoning at a summit on October 15–16.