The European Union imposed sanctions on senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, in an unexpectedly strong and swift response to the poisoning of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny in August.
The Federation reported that Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has been called “Putin’s cook” because the restaurant company he runs has worked for the Kremlin, is undermining peace in Libya by supporting the private “Wagner” company that carries out military activities.
The official newspaper of the Union stated that the bloc targeted 6 Russians and a government scientific research center, under pressure from France and Germany, which Navalny was treated with after his collapse on a flight from Siberia.
And the British government announced on Thursday that it would apply the sanctions imposed by the European Union on those close to Putin.
The British Foreign Office statement said that London “will apply the sanctions announced by the European Union against 6 individuals and entities related to the poisoning and attempt to kill Navalny under the European Union’s system of sanctions (for the use of) chemical weapons.”
The Kremlin warns
In its first response to those sanctions, Moscow warned today that the European Union has damaged its relations with it by imposing sanctions on those close to President Putin against the backdrop of the poisoning of Navalny and the war in Libya.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, “The European Union, through this step, harmed relations with our country,” describing the bloc’s measures as an “unfriendly step” on the part of the Union, pledging that Russia would respond.
He also indicated that the move was illogical, and expressed his regret over a decision that “puts the relations between the European Union and Moscow on the line for the sake of someone whom Europe believes is an opposition leader.”