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EU COMMISSION

The European Commission has stated that any sanctions on Russia or individuals within Russia relating to the poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny can only come after a probe into the case.

  • Yesterday the German clinic in which Navalny is being treated announced he had been poisoned with the nerve agent 'novichok'.
  • The same agent was used in the poisoning of former Russian military intelligence officer Sergei Skripal in the English city of Salisbury in 2018, said by the UK gov't to have been carried out by Russian agent on orders from the Kremlin.
  • There is some scepticism from observers surrounding the EU's position, given that any probe into the Navalny case is likely to be carried out by Russian agencies, raising issues around its authenticity.
  • Earlier today, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the EU risked appearing 'irrelevant' if it did not act against the Russian gov't for its alleged actions.
  • Norbert Rottgen, running for the leadership of Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, has called for the Nord Stream II gas pipeline project between Germany and Russia to be reviewed following the Navalny poisoning.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 | tom.lake@marketnews.com