Eastern Europe

EU Mulls More Sanctions Over Navalny Poisoning, Russian Economy Feels Pressure

EU Mulls More Sanctions Over Navalny Poisoning, Russian Economy Feels Pressure
Supermarket in Russia
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The European Union mulled additional sanctions against the Russian Federation after a German bioweapons lab confirmed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok, the same agent that was used against the Skripals in the United Kingdom.

Germany called for ‘consequences’ for the use of a chemical weapon against the Kremlin nemesis.

“We have high expectations of the Russian government to solve this serious crime,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told German daily Bild. “If the government has nothing to do with the attack, then it is in its own interest to back this up with facts.”

If Russia does not help clarify what happened “in the coming days”, Germany will be compelled to “discuss a response with our allies,” Maas said.

The crime against Navalny was a violation of the international Chemical Weapons Convention and there must be an appropriate response, he said. “When we think about sanctions, they should be as targeted as possible,” reported The Moscow Times.

“I hope… that the Russians do not force us to change our position on Nord Stream,” Maas said, adding that the consequences of any potential cancellation of the project would also need to be weighed, and that the debate on sanctions should not be “reduced” to one point.

In another interview, Mass seemed to backtrack on the poisoning impacting the Nordstream II pipeline under construction from Russia, which would make Berlin even more dependent on Russian gas.

The German top diplomat pointed out that the gas pipeline’s construction involves “over 100 companies form 12 European countries and about half of them come from Germany.” “It is not the case to narrow discussions to the Nord Stream 2 issue,” he added, reported Russian state news agency TASS.

Economic Impact

The Russian ruble lost value against major international currencies since the Navalny incident over fears of additional sanctions, hitting over 88 against the euro and a high 70s handle against the U.S. dollar.

Last month Russia continued its planned departure from dependence on the dollar by issuing its first loan with cryptocurrency used as collateral.

Lender Expobank said it issued an individual loan to businessman Mikhail Uspensky earlier this week, with Uspensky putting up Waves crypto tokens as collateral for the agreement, reported The Moscow Times.

The value of the loan was not disclosed. Kommersant said the bank consulted a number of lawyers and crypto experts on the deal beforehand, resulting in the Waves tokens being defined as “other property” and placed in an escrow account for the purposes of securing the loan.

Tanzila Yandieva, head of Expobank’s legal department said the deal was “precedent-setting for both the banking and legal communities.”

Russian consumers have expressed fear that additional sanctions from the West will further weaken the Russian economy and even prevent travel abroad for Russian citizens.

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1 comment

Show me September 8, 2020 at 10:33 pm

Germany doing nothing when the “little green men” from Russia occupied Crimea, means, Germany will do nothing but turn on the gas and fire up their industry to stay the bankers of the EU and Europe.
Trump chastised Germany at the time they were building Nordstream II, and told them they were jeopardizing European security, but everyone, including the American media, has turned on Trump, insisting he is a Russian pawn and trying to advance Russia’s purposes.
This all has little effect on world geopolitics.
They should enact severe sanctions, stop Nordstream II, and let the pipes rust out, until Russia comes around on Crimea.
Link Nordstream II, to Crime and Ukraine.
Stop the war in Ukraine, pull Russian occupation forces out of Donbass, seal the border, and reverse Russian occupation of Crimea.
Put real money into it and perhaps there will be some movement, otherwise, Putin will just see this as another propaganda victory and solidify his control over Russian Federation and accelerate Russian expansionism.
This is the EU’s and Germany’s last opportunity to control their own destiny, otherwise, Europe becomes fragmented, Ukraine splits, with the wealthy portions going to Russian control and the EU will be on it’s knees financially to Russia, China, and the Middle Eastern oilmen.
EU already on the ropes, Britain managing to escape, and the rest of the countries with hat in hand.
A return to freezing in the darkness.


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