Russia has threatened to impose sanctions on the European Union in response to the new sanctions that the foreign ministers of the bloc’s countries agreed to impose on Moscow on the background of its arrest of opposition Alexei Navalny.
The Russian Interfax news agency quoted Leonid Slutsky, head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Russian Parliament (Duma), as saying on Monday evening that “these sanctions will not pass without a response, but he did not give details.”
Slutsky expressed his belief that the punitive measures against the backdrop of the Navalny incident are “a new step for the deterioration of relations with Russia.”
The prominent Russian politician accused Brussels of constantly refusing to hold a dialogue with Moscow “for reasons that are completely unimaginable and provocative, and this cannot contribute to the normalization of relations.”
According to data issued from Brussels, a new means of sanctions will be used that allows the assets of Russian officials who have committed serious human rights violations or benefited from these violations to be frozen, and a ban on entry of these people to the European Union will be imposed.
Navalny had survived a nerve gas poisoning attempt and was rushed to Germany for treatment.
He returned to Russia in mid-January, where he was arrested immediately.
He was sentenced to prison for violating the parole rules in a previous conviction of fraud.
Since then, the European Union countries have demanded the release of Navalny, to no avail, amid a wave of protests in support of him in Russia, and the arrest of thousands of its participants.
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