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Navalny team calls for extension of sanctions against Russia | Free press

The EU and the US recently tightened up their sanctions against Russia in a coordinated fashion for the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Navalny. The Navalny team is now calling for a new expansion.

Geneva (AP) – Following the detention of the Kremlin’s opponent Alexej Navalny, the opposition leader’s team called for an extension of sanctions.

Personal sanctions should also be imposed on oligarchs and entrepreneurs close to Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin, said Navalny confidant Leonid Volkov of the Association of UN Correspondents in Geneva (ACANU). When asked whether he included ex-Chancellor Gerhard Schröder in this group, Volkov replied in the affirmative. Schröder is not on the priority list.

So far, the EU has only sanctioned Russian government officials for the poison attack on Navalny and his imprisonment. The entry and account bans have hardly any effect, because most of those affected are not allowed to travel to the West or have any property there. Because of the oligarchs, some of whose families live in the West, Putin has an extensive network with a lot of influence in Europe, Volkov said. Only by taking action against them can sufficient pressure be put on Putin.

Former Chancellor Schröder is chairman of the supervisory board of Russian oil giant Rosneft and chairman of the shareholders’ committee of the controversial Baltic Sea pipeline Nord Stream 2, which aims to bring Russian natural gas to Europe. The pipeline itself is a good thing, Volkov said. But Western trading partners should think twice about doing business with Putin’s government.

Volkov lives abroad. In Russia he is wanted by an arrest warrant. The Russian judiciary has accused him of summoning minors to protest against Putin. Volkov rejects that.

According to him, preparations for the elections in September are in full swing. In addition to the 37 Navalny offices across the country, which Volkov controls from abroad, ten more will be added shortly. Navalny’s movement is not registered as a party. However, she calls on voters to vote only for candidates who do not belong to the Kremlin party “United Russia”. “Our operational structure is intact and we are operating at full capacity,” said Volkov.

The movement is not looking for a new leading figure. “Navalny is still our leading figure and he can fulfill this role in the current circumstances,” said Volkov. He provides the vision and strategy. Volkov announced new protests against Navalny’s capture – but declined to provide details just yet.

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