European Union sanctions Putin's aides over Navalny poisoning, Libya embargo violations

EU approves Russia sanctions over Navalny poisoning

At a meeting in Brussels EU ambassadors agreed to sanction six individuals and one organization from Russian Federation over the poisoning of leading opposition figure Alexei Navalny.

Restrictions may affect the first deputy head of the presidential administration of the Russian Federation Sergey Kiriyenko, the director of the FSB Alexander Bortnikov, the presidential envoy to the Siberian district Sergey Menyailo, the head of the internal policy department of the presidential administration Andrei Yarin and two deputy defense ministers.

The documents said that given the use of a Novichok nerve agent and that Navalny "had been under surveillance at the time", it was to conclude "that the poisoning was only possible with the involvement" of the FSB.

"The UK will apply sanctions announced by the European Union against six individuals and an entity involved in the poisoning and attempted murder of Mr Navalny under the EU's chemical weapons sanctions regime", the foreign ministry said in a statement.

European Union foreign ministers agreed on the sanctions on Monday, urged on by France and Germany, who are convinced the nerve agent came from a state facility.

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But, Rogozin, whose speech by video link was translated live, left open the chance of some future collaborative projects. The eight countries are the United States , the UK, Japan, Australia, Canada, Italy, Luxembourg and the UAE.

"The EU with this step has harmed relations with our country", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, describing the EU's actions as a "consciously unfriendly step" and promising retaliation.

In a phone call Tuesday with Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that the EU "wishes to maintain open channels of communication with Russian Federation and to enhance cooperation on issues of mutual interest", according to a statement from Borrell's office.

"The UK and its partners have agreed that there is no plausible explanation for Mr. Navalny's poisoning, other than Russian [state] involvement and responsibility", it said in a statement.

The EU sanctions punish two men who work directly for President Vladimir Putin's executive office, along with his representative in Siberia, where Navalny fell dangerously ill. They confirmed results found earlier in labs in Germany and elsewhere. We respond in kind. "The response will be diplomatic", the TASS news agency quoted Lavrov as saying on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Mr. Lavrov suggested that Moscow might even sever ties. Lavrov on Tuesday said Russian Federation might freeze its contacts with the 27-nation bloc, as officials there "don't understand the need for mutually respectful dialogue".

In a phone call Tuesday with Lavrov, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that the EU "wishes to maintain open channels of communication with Russian Federation and to enhance cooperation on issues of mutual interest", according to a statement from Borrell's office.

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