Russia imposed sanctions on other German government representatives on Tuesday. In response to the sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) in October, Moscow decided to expand the list of German citizens “who are prohibited from entering Russian territory,” said the Foreign Ministry in Moscow without naming them.
In October 2015, the EU imposed sanctions on Russian intelligence officers and a unit of the military intelligence service GRU because of the hacking attack on the German Bundestag. The poison attack on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny also plays a role. The sanctions affect, among others, the first deputy chief of the presidential administration, Sergei Kirijenko, the domestic intelligence chief Alexander Bortnikow and two deputy defense ministers. The EU punitive measures include entry bans and property freezes.
The Russian Foreign Ministry considers the sanctions to be unacceptable and illegal. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced his own punitive measures in November.
Navalny is said to have been poisoned in August with a chemical nerve agent developed by the Novichok group in the Soviet Union. Laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden later found the warfare agent Novichok in his body. Russia initially imposed sanctions on several representatives of these three countries last week, but the list has now been expanded again.
The Russian sanctions affected, among other things, the management of the Bundeswehr laboratory, which had detected Navalny’s Novitschok poisoning.