EU Agrees to Sanction Russian Officials over the Poisoning of NavalnyPolitics | October 14, 2020, Wednesday // 15:52| views
At a meeting in Brussels EU ambassadors agreed to sanction six individuals and one organization from Russia over the poisoning of leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny. The asset freezes and travel bans are to be finalized in writing and could be implemented within days.
According to the EU sources, the targeted individuals include officials from Russia's security forces, while the entity in question is the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology. The names of the individuals are not known.
Navalny, a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin and prominent anti-corruption campaigner, fell ill on a domestic flight in Siberia on August 20 and was transported to Germany for treatment in a comatose state two days later. He was released from hospital last month.
Last week, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed tests by Germany and other countries that the Soviet-developed nerve agent Novichok - a banned warfare agent - was used in the attack.
Moscow has denied any involvement and questioned whether Navalny was poisoned at all.
Berlin and Paris - the main instigators of the EU sanctions - believe that the poisoning could only have happened with the involvement of Russian authorities, and accuse Moscow of failing to thoroughly investigate or offer a plausible alternative explanation.
The EU already sanctioned Russian intelligence officials following the use of Novichok in a 2018 attack on former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury./DPA
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