EU: Sanctions against Russia for the imprisonment of Navalny enter into force

Sanctions against Russia imposed by the EU in connection with the imprisonment of the Russian oppositionist Alexei Navalny entered into force on Tuesday. They included the head of the Investigative Committee, the prosecutor general, the commander of the National Guard and the head of the prison service.

On February 20, Moscow City Court rejected an appeal by Navalny's defence against the lower court's decision to "suspend" the 2014 prison sentence. Navalny is to spend 2.5 years in a penal colony.

Last week, EU foreign ministers agreed to introduce further sanctions against Russia in connection with Navalny. However, the EU did not decide to restrict the Russian oligarchs, which was suggested by Navalny's associates.

This is the first time that restrictions have been applied under the new EU sanctions regime for human rights violations, which was established on December 7, 2020.

On Sunday, activists of the Russian social commission monitoring prisons announced that Navalny is in the penal colony in Pokrov, in the centre of the European part of Russia. However, there is still no official data on his whereabouts.