UK demands Russia conduct criminal investigation and sanctions FSB operatives over poisoning of Alexey Navalny

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"We are sending a clear message that any use of chemical weapons by the Russian state violates international law, and a transparent criminal investigation must be held. We urge Russia to declare its full stock of Novichok nerve agents" - Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab. Picture by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street

The UK has sanctioned the Russian FSB operatives directly responsible for Novichok attack on Alexey Navalny.

Today, on the anniversary of Alexey Navalny’s poisoning with a banned nerve agent of the “Novichok” group, the UK has announced asset freezes and travel bans against seven Russian nationals, under the UK autonomous Chemical Weapons sanctions regime.

The sanctioned individuals are directly responsible for planning or carrying out the attack on Mr Navalny in Tomsk on 20 August 2020. These measures have been taken alongside our US allies.

This is the second round of sanctions under the UK autonomous Chemical Weapons regime. In October 2020, the UK sanctioned six individuals and one entity responsible for masterminding the poisoning of Alexey Navalny.

Today’s sanctions are targeted towards those who carried out the attack.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said:

Since the horrific poisoning of Alexey Navalny took place a year ago, the UK has been at the forefront of the international response against this appalling act. Through our chemical weapons sanctions regime and at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, we are sending a clear message that any use of chemical weapons by the Russian state violates international law, and a transparent criminal investigation must be held. We urge Russia to declare its full stock of Novichok nerve agents.

The UK and its partners have repeatedly called on Russia to conduct a full and transparent criminal investigation into Mr Navalny’s poisoning. Russia continues to ignore these calls and has failed to provide a plausible explanation into how a nerve agent came to be used on Russian territory.

These sanctions on members of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) demonstrate that the UK and its partners will continue to hold those responsible to account for their actions and uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention.

In light of Mr Navalny’s politically-motivated arrest and detention and the upcoming State Duma elections, the British Governemnet say the also underline support for democracy, including free and fair elections, the rule of law and human rights in Russia.

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