- The Washington Times - Monday, October 12, 2020

Foreign ministers of the European Union on Monday agreed to a plan written by French and German officials to sanction Russia for the poisoning of Alexei Navalny, a known critic of the Kremlin.

Mr. Navalny was transported to Germany for medical attention after he fell ill on a flight to Siberia in August. Medical professionals determined he was poisoned by a nerve agent and was discharged from the hospital last month.

Mr. Navalny has maintained that he was poisoned by Kremlin-linked operatives, but Russia has strongly denied his claims.

European officials now say that they have not seen a “credible explanation” from the Russian government as to why the nerve agent Novichok was found in Mr. Navalny’s body, Reuters reported, prompting calls for sanctions.

“France and Germany propose imposing sanctions on certain people that caught our eye in this respect,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.

He told reporters ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers Monday that the poisoning will not “remain without consequences.”

European diplomats told the publication that the sanctions proposal has seen sweeping support from EU foreign ministers and that the penalties will likely freeze assets and prompt travel bans on multiple Russian military intelligence officers.

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