EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell announced on Monday that European Union foreign ministers had agreed to extend sanctions against Russia because of the situation with opponent Aleksei Navalny.
In response to Borrell’s statement, the Russian Foreign Ministry argued that the decision to impose new sanctions against Moscow because of Navalny’s situation is “disappointing”. The Russian chancellery considered that the adoption of sanctions is illegal.
“We consider categorically unacceptable the constantly illegal and absurd demands for ‘liberation’ of a citizen of the Russian Federation who was convicted of economic crimes by a Russian court on the territory of our country under Russian law,” says the note from folder.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in international practice, such demands are called “interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state”.
The statement came after an earlier announcement by EU security and foreign policy chief Josep Borrell that the bloc had agreed to extend sanctions against Moscow because of the situation of opponent Aleksei Navalny.
“In response to events surrounding the Navalny situation, we have reached a political agreement to impose restrictive measures against those responsible for his arrest, conviction and persecution,” Borrell said during a news conference after meeting with EU foreign ministers.
© AP Photo / Babushkinsky District Tribunal
Russian opponent Aleksei Navalny during a court hearing in Moscow
Russian opponent Aleksei Navalny was arrested on January 17 in Moscow after landing on his return from Germany. He was accused of violating suspended prison terms. The opponent’s allies called for unauthorized actions in support of Navalny after the activist was placed in 30-day custody.
On February 2, the Russian court replaced the suspended sentence of three and a half years in prison with an effective sentence. Some countries, like the USA, Germany, France and the United Kingdom, reacted to the decision and called for the Russian government to release Navalny.