Russia threatens to sever ties with the European Union

EU's leaders do not have enough respect to engage in dialogue with Russia, that is why it is time to renegotiate relations with the EU, stated Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, speaking at the Valdai Discussion Club.

According to him, "it is time for Russia to stop looking back at the opinion and assessments of the European Union."

"These are people who are responsible for foreign policy in the West and they do not understand the need for mutually respectful conversation. Perhaps we should just stop communicating with them for a while," Lavrov said.

He reminded that the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen says that geopolitical partnership will not work with the current Russian authorities. "So be it, if they want it this way," said the Russian Foreign Minister. According to Lavrov, after Navalny’s incident, Moscow does not understand how it can have any business with the EU. "With regards to Navalny, we want the European Union and Germany to comply with international law. There is a convention on criminal assistance, a pan-European convention and protocols to it. We appeal to them and ask Germany to fulfill its obligations," Lavrov said. The EU, he said, is behaving "inappropriately and unacceptably."

"Look at the meeting of the EU Council on Foreign Policy," Lavrov gave an example. “What moral sentiments were voiced there, statements that Russia could not use the opportunity to explain what happened to Navalny”.

On Monday, the EU foreign ministers approved the imposition of sanctions for the poisoning of Alexei Navalny proposed by France and Germany. The full list is expected to be released later this week. They will include individuals and one organization involved in the Russian Novichok program,  announced the Foreign Ministry of France and Germany last week.

In addition, Paris and Berlin will continue to discuss with their partners further steps in response to Russia's violation of the Chemical Weapons Convention.

According to Le Monde, nine people, including members of the Russian presidential administration and security forces, will be subject to sanctions. This will include asset freezes and a ban on entry into the EU. According to Bloomberg sources, the sanctions will also target the Russian Military Intelligence Directorate (GRU) officials.

Washington may follow the EU sanctions by imposing its own. The draft bill, initiated by a group of senators and submitted to Congress in late September, includes measures against officials "involved in brazen violations of international law."

The Holding Russia Accountable for Malign Activities Act of 2020 requires a report on "personal wealth accumulated as a result of the corrupt activities of Vladimir Putin and his inner circle."

In addition, the document requires the U.S. administration to assess whether the Kremlin violated international laws prohibiting the use of chemical and biological weapons.

  Lavrov, Navalny, Kremlin