Sergey Lavrov and Ine Eriksen Søreide met last time in Kirkenes in October 2019. Photo: Thomas Nilsen

Norway welcomes EU sanctions on Russia over Navalny's poisoning

"Russian authorities must stop the political motivated persecution of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny," says Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Søreide.
March 03, 2021

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“It will be natural for Norway to follow the new listings,” says Ine Eriksen Søreide in an email to the Barents Observer.

The European Council on Tuesday listed four senior Russian officials over the prosecution and jailing of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny.

The four are Aleksandr Bastrykin, head of the Investigative Committee, Igor Krasnov, Prosecutor-General, Viktor Zolotov, head of the National Guard (Rosgvardiya) and Aleksandr Kalashnikov, head of the Federal Prison Service.

The four are listed for their roles in the arrest, prosecution and sentencing of Navalny as he returned from a five-month stay in Germany where he was recovering from the Novichok poisoning last fall.

Aleksey Navalny was last week sent to serve his prison sentence in a penal colony in the Vladimir region. The prison is known for abusive treatment of inmates, The Moscow Times reported.

“Using the court system to put a gag on him is unacceptable,” the Norwegian Foreign Minister says.

Also the United States imposed sanctions on several Russia individuals and entities on Tuesday over the Navalny poisoning.

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In Moscow, foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova named the new restrictive measures as “hostile” and “anti-Russian.”

“The absurdity triumphs when the reason for the imposition of sanctions is declared to be a deliberate provocation with the alleged “poisoning” of A. Navalny with some kind of “combat chemicals,” Zakharova said.

“All this is just a pretext for continuing open interference in our internal affairs. We will not accept this. Based on the principle of reciprocity, we will respond but not necessarily with symmetrical measures,” she added.

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