Moscow: Russia’s foreign minister warned that Moscow could freeze its contacts with the European Union in response to its sanctions over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny — an unprecedented threat that reflects a bitter Russia-EU strain.
The tough statement from Sergey Lavrov comes a day after the EU foreign ministers agreed to impose sanctions on Russian officials and organizations blamed for Navalny’s poisoning with a Soviet-era nerve agent.
At a recent meeting in Luxembourg, France and Germany urged their EU 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.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell provided no details about who might face sanctions or when the measures might come into force, but said that technical work on preparing the action will now proceed.
Navalny, an anti-corruption investigator and the most visible opponent of President Vladimir Putin, fell ill on Aug. 20 during a domestic flight in Russia. He was flown to Germany for treatment two days later and is still recovering there. (Hindustan Times)