EU made a prompt decision, Moscow's response to follow
EU foreign ministers supported the Franco-German plan to impose sanctions on Russians suspected of poisoning Alexei Navalny with nerve gas.Source: Tanjug
Berlin and Paris made their proposal at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg. They say that Moscow did not have a credible explanation for what the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCV) described as the presence of a banned Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok in Navalny's body, Reuters reports.
The speed with which the two main EU powers agreed to continue with the sanctions suggests the strengthening of the bloc's attitude towards Moscow, the agency estimates. It took almost a year for the EU to agree on sanctions against the Russians after the attack of the nerve agent in 2018 on the former Russian spy in Britain.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters coming to the meeting earlier on Monday that the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader cannot "pass without consequences".
"France and Germany are proposing the imposition of sanctions on certain people who have caught our eye in this regard," Maas said, without revealing any details.
EU diplomats told Reuters that there was widespread support among 27 foreign ministers for freezing assets and banning travel by several Russian GRU military intelligence officials.
Russia's senior envoy, Vladimir Jabarov, said on Monday that Russia could respond symmetrically to EU sanctions, and reiterated Moscow's position that there was no concrete evidence behind the accusations, the Interfax news agency reported.