Germany was targeted with “unjustified tit-for-tat sanctions” by Russia in response to sanctions imposed by the EU due to Alexey Navalny’s alleged poisoning.
This was reported by AFP, citing an unnamed German foreign ministry source.
The charge d’affaires at the German embassy in Moscow, Beate Grzeski, was summoned to the Russian foreign ministry and informed that “countermeasures in the form of travel bans against German state institutions have been ordered”, the source said.
“While this past pattern of Russian countermeasures is known, they remain in the view of the German government unjustified,” the source added.
The Navalny affair “is not a bilateral case,” the German official said, but rather “remains a case of international dimensions due to the violation of international law with the use of chemical nerve agents”.
“We continue to call on Russia to clarify the use of a chemical weapon on Russian territory against a Russian citizen,” the source said. “Russia has shown no willingness to do so.”
The Russian foreign ministry said earlier it had “decided to expand the list of representatives of EU member states and institutions who will be denied entry to Russia” in response to “confrontational” sanctions imposed by the bloc in October.
The counter sanctions were announced after Moscow summoned senior diplomats from Germany, France and Sweden, the three countries where labs alleged that Navalny was poisoned with Novichok.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said that it was expanding its list of retaliatory sanctions, TASS reported, on December 22nd.
The Foreign Ministry dismissed as “categorically unacceptable” the introduction of illegal restrictive measures (initiated by the EU’s leading member-states) against a number of Russians on the pretext of their alleged involvement in the Navalny case.
“The countries that initiated this measure presented no evidence either to the Russian authorities, in defiance of repeated requests dispatched to them, or to their own partners in the EU. Under the veil of secrecy the EU Council adopted a hasty confrontational political decision running counter to the international legal prerogatives of the UN Security Council and the Helsinki principles of non-intervention in the internal affairs, cooperation among states and diligent compliance with obligations assumed under international law. The concrete names were selected arbitrarily to match the EU Council’s decision in question,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“In connection with the aforesaid and in accordance with the principle of retaliation a decision has been made to expand the list of EU countries’ representatives who are prohibited from entering Russia. The persons on the list are responsible for stepping up anti-Russian sanction activity in the European Union,” the Foreign Ministry stated.
The chiefs of German, French and Swedish diplomatic missions were handed the corresponding verbal notes. Such a note was dispatched to the office of the EU mission in Moscow, too.
“We confirm that unfriendly steps by Western countries will continue to entail an adequate response,” the Foreign Ministry said.
Interestingly, Germany maintains the version that Novichok was discovered on a water bottle that Alexey Navalny had with him.
They still aren’t on board with the conclusions of the Bellingcat “investigative website” and Alexey Navalny himself, who allegedly managed to fool an FSB agent into revealing the operation over the phone.
According to the newest scenario, his underwear was actually laced with Novichok, but that also failed to kill him.
Why would FSB poison a marginal opposition figure, botch it so that he survives, & then get easily caught? Easier ways to kill someone if they want to. Perhaps it’s a Mafia-esque warning shot to people like Navalny they accuse of working w/ Western intel. Thuggish, but plausible.
— Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) December 21, 2020
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