Russia is introducing mirror-like sanctions against representatives of governing structures of Germany and France in the case of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Thursday in an interview with Russian and foreign media about the current issues on the international agenda.
“There will be responses to the sanctions, of course. Since Germany was the driving force behind this EU sanctions in the Navalny case and because these sanctions directly affect leading officials in the Russian presidential office, our sanctions will be mirror-like,” he said.
“They were already adopted. We will soon inform our German and French colleagues about them. These sanctions will be [imposed] against leading officials in the offices of German and French leaders,” Lavrov noted.
Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital. On September 22, Navalny was discharged from the hospital.
On September 2, Berlin claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples, German government toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family. According to Germany, these findings were confirmed by laboratories in France and Sweden.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the German Foreign Office had not provided the Russian ambassador with any proof of its version of the incident.
On October 15, the European Union published the sanction list introduced in light of the Navalny case. It includes Director of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) Alexander Bortnikov, First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, Chief of the Presidential Domestic Policy Directorate Andrei Yarin, Deputy Defense Ministers Alexei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov as well as presidential envoy to the Siberian Federal District Sergei Menyaylo.