EU, UK Sanction Russians Over Navalny Poisoning

  • The Council of the European Union (EU) announced today that it has adopted sanctions against six individuals and one entity involved in the attempted murder of Navalny.
  • “Today’s asset freezes and travel bans significantly punish Russia’s reckless and malign behaviour,” the U.K. Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
  • The UK and EU also sanctioned Prigojine, accused of being responsible for quite a number of foreign mercenaries in Libya.

The European Union and the United Kingdom slammed seven top Russian officials with sanctions on Thursday. Six officials, including the director of the Federal Security Bureau (FSB), one of the employees of the presidential administration, and a businessman, were sanctioned.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) talks to First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Office Sergei Kiriyenko (R).

Among the affected officials is the head of intelligence services and businessman, Evguény Prigojine, for his alleged key role in the poisoning of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, and for his involvement in the conflict in Libya.

“Any use of chemical weapons by the Russian state violates international law. We are determined to hold those responsible to account,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said.

Others include Alexander Bortnikov, the director of the FSB, and Sergei Kirienko, who works for the Putin administration. Both were in connection to their association with the poisoning of Navalny. The dissident became seriously ill on August 20 on board of an airplane in Siberia, and is currently recovering in Germany.

Raab’s message comes after the Council of the European Union (EU) announced today that it has adopted sanctions against six individuals and one entity involved in the attempted murder of the Russian opposition politician with a toxic substance.

“Today’s asset freezes and travel bans significantly punish Russia’s reckless and malign behaviour,” the U.K. Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“The UK and its partners have agreed that there is no plausible explanation for Mr Navalny’s poisoning, other than Russian involvement and responsibility. Russia must hold a full and transparent investigation into the poisoning of one of its citizens on its soil with a banned chemical weapon. Russia must also declare its Novichok programme to the OPCW.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, right, speaks with French President Emmanuel Macron arrives for a round table meeting at an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. European Union leaders are meeting in person for a two-day summit amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic to discuss topics ranging from Brexit to climate and relations with Africa.

The UK and EU also sanctioned Prigojine, accused of being responsible for quite a number of foreign mercenaries in Libya and for multiple violations of the UN arms embargo on that country. He is also a close confidant of the Russian President.

The businessman earned himself the nickname “chef de Putin,” because his catering company worked for the Kremlin. He is suspected of having been part of a “troll factory” (a company that runs disinformation campaigns on the Internet) that Washington accuses of interfering in the US elections in 2016.

Navalny, the Russian opposition politician was allegedly poisoned on 22 August in Omsk, Siberia, during a trip as part of his party’s political campaigns. After falling into a coma at a local hospital, Navalny was transferred to the Charité hospital in Berlin, where a toxic agent from the Novichok group was detected in samples of his blood and urine.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also confirmed the use of the very substance to poison Navalny, stating that the Novichok was designed by then-Soviet specialists for military purposes.

In a recent interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel, the Russian firebrand opposition politician asserted that it was Putin who was behind the henious act.

I assert that Putin is behind this act, I don’t see any other explanation,” he said.

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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