Navalny Poisoning: EU To Sanction 7 In Russia

Bulgaria EU Agrees to Sanction Russian Officials over the Poisoning of Navalny

The European Union (EU) will sanction six individuals and one organisation from Russian Federation over the poisoning of leading dissident Alexei Navalny, EU diplomats said on Wednesday.

The list includes Alexander Bortnikov, the chief of Russia's Federal Security Service, the KGB successor agency in charge of domestic security, and Sergei Kiriyenko, President Vladimir Putin's deputy chief of staff.

Moscow has rejected accusations that Mr Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent in an attempt to murder him and has said there were no grounds for sanctions.

Mr Raab said the sanctions were also being extended to cover Russia's State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology.

The head of Russia's intelligence service, a man nicknamed "Putin's chef" and several senior Kremlin officials have been hit with sanctions by Britain and the EU.

"Any use of chemical weapons by the Russian state violates global law".

At Monday's meeting in Luxembourg, France and Germany urged their European Union partners to freeze the assets of those suspected of involvement and ban them from traveling in Europe under sanctions to combat the use and spread of chemical weapons.

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European Union global coverage chief Josep Borrell equipped no particulars concerning who might face sanctions or if the steps might grow to be power, however said that specialised work on making ready the actions will now go.

In response, the Kremlin promised a retaliation that would be in Russia's interest.

Navalny fell seriously ill on a plane in Siberia while on the election campaign trail, and was flown to Germany for treatment in August.

Moscow denies any involvement in the poisoning.

This month the inter-governmental Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that Novichok had been used against Mr Navalny. Since then, other labs in France and Sweden have corroborated the findings.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said in an interview on Wednesday that the Germans are not planning to provide any facts, despite all worldwide and legal obligations. "We will respond proportionately ..." On Tuesday, Mr. Lavrov suggested that Moscow might even sever ties. "This is diplomatic practice", he said Wednesday.

In a phone call Tuesday with Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that the EU "wishes to maintain open channels of communication with Russian Federation and to enhance cooperation on issues of mutual interest", according to a statement from Borrell's office. Lavrov on Tuesday said Russian Federation might freeze its contacts with the 27-nation bloc, as officials there "don't understand the need for mutually respectful dialogue".

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