Russia imposes sanctions on France and Germany for Navalny scandal

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called Germany's behavior in connection with the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny unacceptable and inconsistent with international obligations. Lavrov also put forward a new version of Navalny's poisoning, stating that he could be poisoned with a military-grade substance either in Germany or during his transportation there.

"We have reasons to believe that everything that happened to him in terms of the penetration of chemical warfare agents into his body could happen in Germany or on the plane that was used to fly him to Charite clinic," the Russian minister said.

He added that Russia imposed mirror sanctions in response to EU sanctions against Russia in connection with the poisoning of Aleksei Navalny. Lavrov did not specify what kind of sanctions Russia imposed exactly, but only said that they would affect officials at the administrations of France and Germany.

Earlier, Sergei Naryshkin, the head of the Foreign Intelligence Service said that NATO secret services allegedly discussed an opportunity to "sacrifice" one of the leaders of the Russian opposition in order to revive the shriveled protest movement in the Russian Federation. He acknowledged, though, that he had no evidence to prove the involvement of Western special services in the Navalny situation.

Spokespeople for the Ministry of Internal Affairs, in turn, said that politician's wife Yulia Navalny allegedly told doctors that her husband was on a diet to lose weight, which could make him feel unwell. According to the Ministry, Yulia Navalny allegedly told doctors that her husband would eat irregularly and complained of discomfort after meals. The ministry said that Navalny was diagnosed with "chronic pancreatitis with exogenous and intrasecretory function disorder and concomitant exacerbation", adding that the fact of his poisoning had not been confirmed.