NewsEU sanctions Russia over Navalny's death, Putin acknowledges opposition leader

EU sanctions Russia over Navalny's death, Putin acknowledges opposition leader

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4:15 PM EDT, March 19, 2024
"The foreign ministers of EU countries have agreed on sanctions against Russia related to the death of opposition figure Alexei Navalny," reported the Brussels correspondent for RMF FM. On Sunday, for the first time, Putin mentioned Alexei Navalny by name, marking a significant moment with startling remarks.
In mid-February, the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, announced that the European Union's member states would impose sanctions in response to Navalny's death. He emphasized that Vladimir Putin bears the greatest responsibility for the demise of the Russian opposition figure.

Blacklist for prosecutors and judges

According to RMF FM, the sanctions are expected to be finalized within the next few days. A "blacklist" will be created, including 30 individuals - officers from penal colonies, judges, and prosecutors. Their assets in European banks will be frozen, and they will be banned from entering the EU. Poland was among the countries advocating for sanctions due to Navalny's death.

Putin feared Navalny

Evidence of Putin's fear of Navalny came to light only after Navalny's death and the controversial election, when Putin publicly acknowledged the opposition figure for the first time by name. The Russian leader made an appearance at the Central Election Commission headquarters just hours after polling stations closed, illustrating the tension surrounding Navalny's presence and the political manipulation that followed.
Following the election, Putin declared himself president in what many saw as a staged event. It was then that he made his cynical remarks about Navalny.

Putin's cynical words. He did it for the first time

"For the first time, he talked about Navalny's death and publicly mentioned his name, labeling the event as 'sad'” - reports the Russian edition of the BBC.
"Yes, he's gone. It's always a tragic event. Haven't similar incidents occurred in the USA?" Putin remarked sarcastically, later revealing that he had considered a prisoner exchange to send Navalny to the West just days before Navalny's death, "There was an idea for an exchange. I agreed. We hoped to send him away so he wouldn't return. But, life turned out otherwise,” Putin stated.
Navalny's allies, stunned by these comments, expressed their outrage. "I am speechless. What cynical, lying scum. Unimaginable," wrote Maria Pevchikh.

The mysterious death in a Russian penal colony

On February 16, Russian prison authorities announced the death of Navalny, who was serving a 19-year sentence in a penal colony located beyond the Arctic Circle. Navalny was 47 years old.
Reports state that Navalny became ill shortly after going for a walk and subsequently lost consciousness. Despite immediate medical attention and resuscitation efforts, Navalny did not survive. His death, under unexplained circumstances and amid a possible longer prison term, was mourned by thousands.
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