Germany threatens sanctions against Russia over Navalny poisoning
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Germany threatens sanctions against Russia over Navalny poisoning

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Germany warned on Wednesday that the EU may impose new sanctions against Russia if it does not help the investigation into the poisoning of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny.

One sanction could involve the scrapping of a planned €10 billion pipeline, which is set to double natural gas exports from Russia to Germany.

Alexei Navalny was poisoned with Russian nerve agent Novichok on August 20th. Two days later, following long negotiations, Alexei Navalny was brought onto a German medical plane and taken back to Berlin for intensive care. Once there, Navalny’s condition stabilised. Tests later showed that he had been poisoned.

“A serious violation of international law was perpetrated with a chemical warfare agent, and something like that cannot remain without consequences,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated on Wednesday.

“It is clear that if the events are not cleared up, if the necessary information is not provided, then targeted and proportionate sanctions against those responsible on the Russian side will be unavoidable.”

Russia, in turn, accused Germany of stalling the Navalny investigation in September. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova stated that the Russian government was “not certain that Germany is not playing a double game”.

The Kremlin denies involvement in the matter, saying that there is no firm evidence to confirm that Navalny was poisoned.

Navalny currently resides in Germany, where he remains under 24-hour police surveillance. He plans to return to Russia as soon as his health allows it.

Navalny himself has accused Russian president Vladimir Putin of being personally involved in the affair.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times