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Russia: Sanctions

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN HL12732, tabled on 28 January 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Russia about the detention of Alexei Navalny; what steps they will take in response to that detention; and whether they have considered imposing sanctions against Russian individuals in response.

Answered on

10 February 2021

The United Kingdom is appalled by the politically motivated detention of Alexei Navalny. We continue to call for a full and transparent criminal investigation into Mr Navalny's poisoning, and for his immediate and unconditional release. The Foreign Secretary has also condemned the indiscriminate and arbitrary arrests of peaceful protesters and journalists, and the Russian authorities' unacceptable use of violence against them. We have called on the Russian Government to respect its international commitments and release those detained during peaceful demonstrations.

The UK has galvanised the international community in condemnation of these deplorable detentions. As G7 President, the UK led a G7 Foreign Ministers' statement, issued on 26 January, emphasising our deep concern at these developments, and calling on Russia to adhere to its national and international obligations.

We raise Mr Navalny's case regularly with the Russian Government. On 15 January, immediately prior to his return to Russia, the UK's Ambassador to Moscow raised our concerns with the Russian Foreign Ministry. The Minister responsible for the European Neighbourhood and the Americas also raised Mr Navalny's case with her Russian counterpart in November 2020.

On 15 October 2020 the UK enforced asset freezes and travel bans against six individuals and an entity involved in the poisoning and attempted murder of Mr Navalny under the EU's chemical weapons sanctions regime. These listings include senior representatives of the Russian government and the Director of the FSB. Following the end of the Transition Period, these individuals and entity are now designated under the UK national sanctions regime on Chemical Weapons. We are considering all options for further action. We will continue to work with the OPCW and all of our international partners to uphold the Chemical Weapons Convention and to hold Russia to account.