EU to debate Russia Navalny sanctions

Russian sanctions are under consideration after an investigation found Alexei Navalny was poisoned.
Russian sanctions are under consideration after an investigation found Alexei Navalny was poisoned.

The European Union is meeting to find a common line on foreign affairs issues including possible sanctions on Russia over its alleged involvement in the poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

France and Germany tabled a proposal for sanctions after an investigation found Navalny was poisoned with nerve agent Novichok.

The two countries believe it could only have happened with the involvement of Russian authorities.

According to a joint press release by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and counterpart Jean-Yves Le Drian, the two countries plan to propose sanctions against individuals responsible for the crime and one institution.

But whether the politicians on Monday will come to an agreement on sanctions was still uncertain before the meeting, EU diplomats said.

The ministers are also to discuss the EU's response to ongoing tensions in Belarus.

The bloc imposed new sanctions on 40 officials in early October but not on President Alexander Lukashenko, an option is to be discussed on Monday.

According to one EU source, EU ministers would also announce they are working on sanctions on additional officials.

Another major issue on the agenda will be the bloc's stance toward the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in the disputed region Nagorno-Karabakh, after both sides accused each other of violating a ceasefire shortly after it came into force on Saturday.

Australian Associated Press