EU extends sanctions against Russia for overuse of chemical weapons

The European Union has extended sanctions against Russia for a year over the use of chemical weapons. The relevant document is published on the website of the European Council.

It concerns the use of chemical weapons in Syria and the Novichok nerve agent’s use in the attempted murder of former GRU officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March 2018.

There are nine people on the EU sanctions list. Five of them have to do with Syria, four of them, according to the EU, involved in the poisoning of Skripal. Among the Russians is the head of the Main Directorate of the Russian General staff (GRU) Igor Kostyukov and his Deputy Vladimir Alekseev and Anatoly Chepiga, and Alexander Mishkin. Brussels believes that they are GRU officers involved in the attempt on the Skripals and worked under the names of Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov. Russia has repeatedly denied accusations of using chemical weapons.

In October, several EU countries, including Germany and France, announced that they were preparing new sanctions against Moscow over the alleged Novichok poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. The EU claims that Russia violated the Сhemical weapons сonvention. In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that it has not yet received evidence of poisoning of Germany’s opposition leader, where he was undergoing treatment and is now in rehabilitation.