Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow would soon announce punitive measures against senior French and German officials in retaliation for the introduction of sanctions by Berlin and Paris on Russian officials over the alleged poisoning of opposition figure Alexei Navalny in August.
Commenting on the sanctions, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said in Berlin on Friday, "From the perspective of the German government, such a step is obviously unjustified and inappropriate."
Navalny, 44, collapsed during a domestic Russian flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow on August 20 and was taken to a local hospital. He was airlifted to Berlin on August 22. Navalny’s aides claimed he had been poisoned after drinking a bottle of water at a hotel before the flight.