The European Union has imposed sanctions on six high ranking Russian officials of the Putin administration over the poisoning of Alexei Navalny. The EU believes that these officials were involved in the assassination attempt on Navalny, who is a well known critic of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. All six official are placed under a travel ban, prohibiting them from visiting the EU. Their assets will also be frozen. Navalny is still recuperating in Germany after falling ill in August due to Novichok poisoning which is a toxic nerve agent.
The Guardian: The EU said it had agreed sanctions against six people believed to have been involved in the “assassination attempt” against Putin’s most vocal critic
According to The Guardian, the assets of Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB), the successor intelligence agency to the Soviet KGB, will be frozen, and he will face a travel ban, along with Sergei Kiriyenko, the first deputy chief of staff in Putin’s administration. Andrei Yarin, another Kremlin official, Alexei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov, both deputy ministers of defence, and Sergei Menyaylo, a presidential envoy to the Siberian Federal District, will also be targeted.
The EU also placed under sanctions the Russian State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, which it believes developed the chemical that was used to poison Navalny.
The UK has imposed sanctions on the same six senior Russian officials and is acting in coordination with the EU on the issue.
NPR.Org: “In these circumstances, it is reasonable to conclude that the poisoning of Alexei Navalny was only possible with the consent of the Presidential Executive Office,” the EU said.
In a related report by NPR.Org, it accounts that the EU also invoked the chemical weapons convention last year when it sanctioned other Russians over the use of a nerve agent against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, in 2018 – an attack that Western nations have blamed on Moscow. That incident also included the use of a Novichok nerve agent.
In September, test results from a military laboratory in Germany shows that the toxic nerve agent was used on Navalny. Labs from France and Sweden also corroborated the findings.
The Russian government has denied any participation in the Navalny and Salisbury poisoning.