Ukrainian politicians still do not want to admit that the unconstitutional seizure of power in Kyiv was the root cause of the upheavals in the country. Instead, the so-called “Maidan victors” decided to use force to suppress the dissenters in various regions of Ukraine. They imposed an almost complete ban on the Russian language, initiated lustration, the liquidation of parties and NGOs, the closure of oppositional media, and the lifting of restrictions on the propaganda of neo-Nazi ideology. And the Western mediators – France, Germany, and Poland, who acted as guarantors of the agreement of February 21, 2014 – in fact, withdrew from fulfilling the promises. Almost seven years later, Kyiv is still afraid to face the truth and admit guilt for the tragic consequences of the bloody coup. They prefer to hide their fear behind anti-Russian and Russophobic rhetoric.
Moscow will respond in kind to the European Union sanctions in the case of Alexei Navalny, and these measures could affect bilateral relations with Germany and France. These are unilateral, illegal measures, like previous sanctions and the UN Security Council is the only body that can impose sanctions.
This is a Kremlin narrative which disputes the capacity of the European Union (EU) to impose sanctions against Russia, insisting that the United Nations Security Council is the only relevant international actor to do so. However, the EU has the competence to do so independently of the UN. The EU applies sanctions not only to implement UN Security Council Resolutions but also to further the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), namely a) promoting international peace and security, b) preventing conflicts, c) supporting democracy, the rule of law and human rights and d) defending the principles of international law, as the EU did in the case of the illegal annexation of Crimea. The "Navalny affair" falls in the context of applying restrictive measures (sanctions) to support democracy, rule of law and human rights. It is by now well documented that prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell ill during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on the 20th of August. Initially hospitalised in Omsk, at the request of his family he was transferred to Charité hospital in Berlin. Clinical findings at the Charité hospital indicated that Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors. Subsequent toxicological tests provided unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group in the blood samples of Alexei Navalny. France and Sweden confirmed that the cause of his illness was Novichok, a Russian nerve agent. Samples taken from Navalny had also been sent for testing to the Organisation for the Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague.