- “Sanctions against the whole country don't work. The most important thing is to impose entry bans on profiteers of the regime and freeze their assets,” Navalny said.
- “They embezzle money, steal billions and at the weekend they fly to Berlin or London, buy expensive apartments and sit in cafes,” he lamented.
- He also strongly criticized former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who now works in a subsidiary of the Russian gas company, Gazprom.
Russian opposition politician Alexey Navalny on Wednesday called upon the European Union to impose tough sanctions on key figures in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government, as well as his inner circle. His proposed sanctions would include entry bans in response to Navalny’s poisoning.
“Sanctions against the whole country don’t work. The most important thing is to impose entry bans on profiteers of the regime and freeze their assets,” Navalny told Germany’s popular newspaper, Bild.
Navalny referred to the groups as those who “murder people because they want to remain in power.” He lamented, “they embezzle money, steal billions and at the weekend they fly to Berlin or London, buy expensive apartments and sit in cafes.”
After the alleged Navalny poisoning, European diplomacy chief Josep Borrell raised the possibility of a “Navalny Law” as a vehicle for further sanctions against Moscow. Germany also said it was considering punitive measures.
The issue of sanctions was revived after the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) announced on Tuesday that a Novichok-type substance had been found in Navalny’s body thanks to the independent tests that it carried out.
Prior to the organization’s Tuesday announcement, three European laboratories had already concluded that Navalny was poisoned with this Novichok-type nerve agent, designed for military purposes in Soviet times.
A fierce critic of the Kremlin, Navalny fell critically ill on August 22 while on board a plane, which was en route from Tomsk, in Siberia, headed to Moscow. He eventually was placed in a medically-induced coma and was later transferred to a Berlin hospital, at the request of his family and supporters.
Navalny was treated in Berlin and continues to recover in the German capital. The German government reacted to the OPCW announcement by stating that the use of chemical weapons is a serious act that cannot be without consequences.
Navalny explained during the interview that the use of chemical weapons should be of great concern to the West. The opposition politician hinted that there is a possibility that many people have been poisoned and killed by the dangerous poison.
He also strongly criticized former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who now works in a subsidiary of the Russian gas company, Gazprom, and happens to be a close ally of President Putin.
“He is after all the former chancellor of Europe’s most powerful country,” Navalny said. “Now Schroeder is Putin’s errand boy who is protecting murderers.”
Chancellor Schroeder is on record as of last week dismissing any links between the Kremlin and the Navalny case. He referred to it as “speculation.”
Navalny also accused the ex-German Chancellor of being a beneficiary of looted funds from Russia. He consequently described him as being a contributor to Russia’s impoverishment.