More Russia sanctions to follow Navalny death, Borrell says

EU is unequivocal that Russia is responsible for the opposition leader’s demise and must suffer the consequences.

The EU will impose new sanctions on Russia following the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the EU’s High Representative Josep Borrell said Monday.

In a strongly worded statement, which put the blame for Navalny’s death squarely on Russia, Borrell expressed solidarity with the late activist’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, and their family.

“The EU will spare no efforts to hold Russia’s political leadership and authorities to account, in close coordination with our partners; and impose further costs for their actions, including through sanctions,” the statementsays.

Political pressure on Russia, already high due to the country’s ongoing war against Ukraine, rose further on Monday as numerous EU countries, plus the U.K., summoned Russian diplomats to account for Navalny’s death.

Since the 2022 invasion of Ukraine the EU has hit Russia with multiple rounds of sanctions, though many have proven ineffective or easy to circumvent.

Borrell said at a press conference that ministers have agreed to rename the EU’s human rights sanctions system as the “Navalny regime on global human rights sanctions,” though this change must still go through a technical stage.

Borrell’s statement also indirectly accused Russia of being behind a 2020 assassination attempt on Navalny using the banned nerve agent Novichok.

Navalnaya said Monday in a video posted on X, formerly Twitter, that her husband was killed with Novichok. She has vowed to continue his work.

Russia has denied killing Navalny.

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