UK sanctions Alexey Navalny’s poisoners

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The UK will enforce asset freezes and travel bans, on those responsible for the Novichok poisoning of Alexey Navalny, the Foreign Secretary announced today.

The UK will apply sanctions announced by the EU against six individuals and an entity involved in the poisoning and attempted murder of Mr Navalny under the EU’s chemical weapons sanctions regime.

The full list of those sanctioned is:

  • Andrei Veniaminovich YARIN: Chief of the Presidential Domestic Policy Directorate
  • Sergei Vladilenovich KIRIYENKO: First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office
  • Sergei Ivanovich MENYAILO: Plenipotentiary Representative of the President of the Russian Federation in the Siberian Federal District
  • Aleksandr Vasilievich BORTNIKOV: Director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation
  • Pavel Anatolievich POPOV: Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation
  • Aleksei Yurievich KRIVORUCHKO: Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation State Scientific Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology (GosNIIOKhT)

Today’s asset freezes and travel bans significantly punish Russia’s reckless and malign behaviour. They follows the announcement made on 6 October by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which supported the findings by three separate international laboratories, that a Novichok nerve agent was used in the poisoning of Mr Navalny in August this year.

The UK and its partners have agreed that there is no plausible explanation for Mr Navalny’s poisoning, other than Russian involvement and responsibility. Russia must hold a full and transparent investigation into the poisoning of one of its citizens on its soil with a banned chemical weapon. Russia must also declare its Novichok programme to the OPCW.

The sanctions, which are now in force, send a strong signal that there are consequences for the use of chemical weapons and the threat their use poses to the rules-based international system, designed to keep us all safe.

The Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, said:

Together with our international partners, we are sanctioning those responsible for the criminal poisoning of Alexey Navalny.

Any use of Chemical Weapons by the Russian state violates international law. We are determined to hold those responsible to account.

The UK also takes the provision of mercenaries and other military support to parties in the Libyan conflict very seriously. Sanctions have therefore been imposed on Yevgeniy Viktorovich PRIGOZHIN, who is responsible for significant foreign mercenary activity in Libya and multiple breaches of the UN arms embargo. We have made it clear that all external involvement in this crisis is unacceptable, and will continue to work with the international community to hold those seeking to undermine the stability and security of Libya to account.

Background:

EU sanctions adopted during the Transition Period will still apply in the UK. The UK will continue to implement the EU’s Chemical Weapons sanctions regime at the end of the Transition Period, through our own autonomous UK Chemical Weapons sanctions regime.

The UK was at the forefront of efforts to establish the EU’s Chemical Weapons sanctions regime, which was introduced in 2018 following the use of a Novichok nerve agent in Salisbury.

The EU extended this regime for an additional year on 12 October 2020. The UK has led efforts, with Germany, to hold Russia to account for violations of the Chemical Weapons Convention at the OPCW.

The UK has had a leading role on the diplomatic stage in working to resolve the conflict in Libya, including most recently, voting to extend the Mandate of the UN Special Mission to Libya. It has continually called for all parties to work together to reach a peaceful solution to the crisis and demonstrate a real commitment to the UN-backed political process. It has also called for all parties to respect their international obligations, including the Libya UN arms embargo established under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1970.

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