Moscow will respond in kind to the European Union’s sanctions over the csse of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny, and these measures may target bilateral ties with Germany and France, Russia’s permanent envoy to the bloc, Vladimir Chizhov, told reporters on Saturday.
“Undoubtedly, mirror-like response measures will be taken. Since the introduced sanctions are personal, the response will obviously be personal as well,” Chizhov said.
“It is logical to assume that the retaliatory measures may affect Moscow’s bilateral relations with Berlin and Paris, because no one conceals that they were behind this step,” the diplomat added.
The envoy noted that Russia sees the fresh restrictions as “unilateral, unlawful measures, just like all previous retributions.” He stressed that the UN Security Council was the only body that had the mandate to introduce sanctions.
The statement comes a few days after Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin regrets the EU’s move to impose sanctions against several Russian officials over the case of opposition figure Alexei Navalny, something that Peskov said indicates a “lack of logic.
“To our deepest regret, this is a deliberate unfriendly step toward Russia. The Council of the EU has damaged relations with our country by [doing] so. Moscow will undoubtedly analyse the situation and act according to its interests”, Peskov pointed out.
EU Slaps Sanctions on Russia Over Navalny Case
This followed the EU publishing an official decree, which sanctioned the head of the Russian Federal Security Service, the first deputy head of the presidential administration, and several others over the Navalny case.
The sanctions, which entered force on 15 October, specifically target First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko, Director of the Federal Security Service Aleksandr Bortnikov, as well as two Deputy Defence Ministers, Pavel Popov and Aleksei Krivoruchko.
In addition, the sanctions were slapped on Chief of the Presidential Domestic Policy Directorate Andrei Yarin, the Russian President’s Plenipotentiary Representative Sergei Menyailo, and the State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT).
The move was preceded by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov pledging on Wednesday that Moscow would retaliate against any EU sanctions over the Navalny case, also blaming the Germans for failing to “provide any facts [related to the opposition figure’s alleged poisoning], despite all their international legal obligations”.
“We will respond in kind. Yes, this is diplomatic practice, but it is also a diplomatic response”, Lavrov underscored.
Sputnik / Ekaterina Chesnokova
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