The EU is increasing the pressure after calls for Nawalny’s immediate release had so far had no effect.
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) had previously spoken out clearly in favor of new punitive measures. “When Navalny was poisoned, we made it clear that we were not prepared to accept a breach of international law, and we imposed sanctions,” said the SPD politician. In particular, due to the conviction of Nawalny and the fact that he had to spend his imprisonment in a penal camp, the question of sanctions now arises again. “I am in favor of giving the order here to prepare such sanctions and listings of individuals,” said Maas.
The 44-year-old was convicted in Moscow at the beginning of February because, in the judge’s view, he repeatedly violated probation conditions in previous criminal proceedings in 2014 for fraud and misappropriation of funds. In an appeal process last Saturday, the judiciary confirmed the imprisonment in a prison camp. Also on Saturday, Navalny was sentenced to a fine for allegedly insulting a World War II veteran.
The opposition politician decided to return to his home country in January, even though he was the victim of an attack there with the neurotoxin Novichok, which is banned as a chemical weapon. He was then arrested on arrival.