The EU Council on Tuesday officially approved a package of sanctions in connection with the case of Alexei Navalny, who was poisoned with poison from the Novichok family in August, and after returning to Russia was sent to a colony for 2.5 years.
Only four persons were included in the “black list”, which involves the freezing of all assets and a ban on entry to the EU.
These are the head of the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation Alexander Bastrykin (already a figurant of the British sanctions list in connection with the poisoning of Navalny), the head of the Federal Penitentiary Service of the FSIN) Alexander Kalashnikov, Commander of the Russian Guard Viktor Zolotov and Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov.
The sanctions list, prepared following the visit to Moscow of the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell and agreed at the level of the EU foreign ministers last week, came into force immediately. The Russians included in it, as stated in the decision of the EU Council, “are responsible for the arrest, charge and sentence” to Navalny, whom the court replaced the suspended sentence with a real one for the fact that the oppositionist did not report to the FSIN, being in a coma and undergoing treatment in Germany …
In October, the European Union approved sanctions for the poisoning of Navalny, including the deputy head of the presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, and the director of the Federal Security Service, Alexander Bortnikov, on the “black lists.”
They were accompanied by the deputy head of the Presidential Administration Andrei Yarin, two deputy defense ministers – Alexei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov, as well as the president’s plenipotentiary representative in the Siberian Federal District, Sergei Menyailo.
After the arrest of the politician, Navalny’s supporters called for the introduction of visa bans and the freezing of the assets of state bankers, top officials and two billionaires – Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov. But despite support from the British Parliament, the Bundestag and the European Parliament, EU foreign ministers were hesitant about this scenario.
Some EU countries are afraid to “burn bridges” with Moscow – that is why sanctions are provided only for officials and structures directly related to the case, diplomats familiar with the discussion told Bloomberg.
Germany and Italy urged not to rush to take tough steps, according to agency sources, while the Baltic countries and Poland insisted on prompt and decisive measures.