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Russia will mirror EU sanctions over Navalny poisoning

Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Russia’s Foreign Minister said on Wednesday that Russia will respond ‘in kind’ to the EU’s sanctions over the Navalny poisoning, meaning that Russia will likely take similar measures against the EU.

On 7 October, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas threatened that the EU would sanction Russia if it would not aid the investigation that is currently looking into the poisoning of anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny.

Navalny was poisoned on 20 August. A German rescue operation transported Navalny to a Berlin hospital following diplomatic negotiations, where German doctors determined that Navalny had been poisoned with the Soviet-era poison Novichok.

On Wednesday, the European Union followed up on Maas’ threat and sanctioned six Russians and one Russian company by banning them from travelling in the EU and freezing their assets.

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Russia later responded by saying it would respond “proportionately” to the EU sanctions, saying that Germany did not present any facts to back up the sanctions.

“The Germans are not planning to provide any facts, despite all international and legal obligations,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “We respond in kind, this is diplomatic practice.”

Lavrov spoke of various secondary motives for the EU to impose the sanctions, including “Russophobic tendencies” and discouraging Europe from buying “Russian gas” and “Russian military produce”.

Lavrov added that it is unlikely that Russia and the EU will maintain good relations in the future.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times