EU agrees to impose sanctions on four Russian officials

Brussels: The European Union (EU) on Monday agreed to impose sanctions on four senior Russian justice and law enforcement officials involved in the arrest of Kremlin dissident Alexei Navalny.

Diplomatic sources told AFP that the names of the sanctioned officials would be published in the bloc's official gazette on Tuesday, after the ambassadors of member states approved the list of targeted figures drawn up by Brussels.

Two sources, who asked not to be named, explained that the list included the head of the Russian Prison Service, Alexander Kalashnikov, the head of the Russian commission of inquiry, prosecutor Igor Krasnov and national guard commander Viktor Zolotov.

Russian officials will be the first targets under a new EUROPEAN Union sanctions regime against human rights violations, which came into force in December.

Russian officials will be banned from traveling to the bloc's countries and any assets they own on EU territory will be frozen.

Alexei Navalny was arrested on his return to Moscow in January from Germany, where he was recovering from an attempted poisoning that vladimir Putin's regime blamed on him. Moscow has repeatedly denied the accusations.

Since then, Navalny has been convicted of several judicial convictions.

Navalny's prison sparked nationwide protests that saw thousands of protesters arrested and calls in the West for the release of Putin's most prominent opponent.

Last week, the Russian foreign ministry denounced EU sanctions as "a flimsy pretext" and accused Brussels of "interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state."

 

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