Europe should target Vladimir Putin’s inner circle with direct sanctions because they are “a bunch of criminals” temporarily in power, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has told MEPs.
He said travel bans or asset freezes on senior Russian officials would not be taken seriously so long as they do not also focus on the richest oligarchs.
Navalny is in Germany, where he was treated in hospital after collapsing in August on board a flight to Moscow from the Siberian city of Tomsk.
Laboratory tests subsequently confirmed he had been poisoned with a nerve agent.
Speaking to the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee on Friday, Navalny said it was “extremely important for Russian people to know that Europe as a whole and [the] European Parliament will not keep silent on such events.”
“I’m definitely not the first one and unfortunately I will not be the last one who [is] poisoned or killed or treated in this way.”