Russia to impose retaliatory sanctions against Germany and France over Navalny poisoning
Russia has adopted retaliatory sanctions against Germany and France in response to the EU’s sanctions over the poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny, announced Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a press conference on Thursday, November 12.
According to Lavrov, the sanctions will target senior staff in the offices of the German and French leaders.
“Since the locomotive of the EU sanctions in connection with Navalny was Germany and since these sanctions affect the senior officials of the Presidential Executive Office of the Russian Federation directly, our retaliatory sanctions will mirror [them]. They have already been adopted and we will soon inform our German and French colleagues about this,” Lavrov said, as quoted by Interfax.
In addition, Lavrov stated that Russia has every reason to believe that Navalny could have been poisoned on German territory or on the plane that transported him to the Charité Hospital in Berlin for treatment.
On October 15, the European Union, and subsequently the United Kingdom, announced personal sanctions against six high-level Russian officials, as well as Russia’s State Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT), where it is believed that Novichok-type nerve agents were developed during Soviet period.
The EU sanctions were imposed upon FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov, Putin’s head of domestic policy Andrey Yarin, First Deputy Head of the Presidential Executive Office Sergey Kiriyenko, deputy defense ministers Alexey Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov, as well as Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Siberian Federal District Sergey Menyaylo. The sanctions include a ban on entry into the EU and a freeze on all financial assets held in the union.