EU levels sanctions at Kremlin top brass for Navalny poisoning

Brussels, Oct 15 (efe-epa).- The European Union on Thursday leveled sanctions at six senior Russian officials and one entity over the attempted assassination of Alexei Navalny with the nerve agent Novichok.

The new sanctions target Kremlin officials Andrei Yarin, Sergei Kiriyenko, Alexei Krivoruchko and Pavel Popov, the federal envoy to Siberia where Navalny was poisoned, Sergei Menyaylo and Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB intelligence agency, which replaced the Soviet KGB.

The punitive measures include a travel ban and asset freeze.

The Russian State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, which was delegated the responsibility of destroying the Soviet Union’s chemical weapons cache, was also hit with penalties.

According to the EU, the institute had helped develop and produce chemical weapons until 1994, including the neuro-toxic nerve agent Novichok.

Opposition leader Navalny fell ill onboard a plane during a campaign trip to Siberia.

He was initially transferred to a hospital in Omsk and later to Berlin amid an outcry from his family, supporters and European governments.

A German laboratory later said it found clear indications that the Kremlin critic had been poisoned by Novichok.

Those findings have also been corroborated by experts in France and Sweden.

The sanctions came as a result of an agreement between the EU’s foreign ministers and the EU Council on Monday.

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