LONDON: Britain on Friday banned seven people from Russian intelligence operatives responsible for poisoning Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
It also issued a joint statement with the United States warning Russia on chemical weapons. It did not outline any specific new action taken by Washington, but again condemned what it described as an assassination attempt against Navalny.
Navalny was flown to Germany for medical treatment after being poisoned in Siberia on 20 August last year, with Western experts concluding that the military nerve agent was Novichok.
Moscow has dismissed their findings and accused the West of a smear campaign against it.
An updated version of the British sanctions list published by the government on the first anniversary of Navalny’s poisoning included seven new names.
“The sanctioned persons are directly responsible for planning or carrying out the attack on Mr. Navalny,” a Foreign Office statement said.
British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said the move was a warning to Russia. “We are sending a clear message that any use of chemical weapons by the Russian state violates international law, and there should be a transparent criminal investigation.”
The ban will affect nominees who have foreign assets.
The document lists Alexey Alexandrov, Vladimir Panyaev, Ivan Osipov, Vladimir Bogdanov, Kirill Vasilyev, Stanislav Makshkov and Alexei Sedov. It said they were all members of Russia’s FSB security service and were either directly or indirectly involved in the poisoning.
Neither the Kremlin nor any of the nominees immediately commented.
The document cited evidence, including phone and travel records, that showed some operators were present in the Siberian city of Tomsk at the time of the poisoning.
For others, there were reasonable grounds to suspect that, because of his position in the intelligence service, he had “responsibility for, providing support, or abetting the actions of the operatives who carried out the operation.”
Navalny was jailed for breaches of parole, which he said were politically motivated charges when he traveled back from Germany to Russia earlier this year.
“We call on Russia to fully comply with the Chemical Weapons Agreement, including its obligations to declare and eliminate its chemical weapons program,” the joint statement said.
“We are determined to uphold the global norm against the use of chemical weapons.”
by William James
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times