Does Navalny's poisoning threaten Russia with new sanctions?
The Berlin clinic Charite, where the Russian oppositionist Alexey Navalny was transferred for treatment on August 22, announced the first results of examinations, according to which he was indeed poisoned. Doctors continue to research to find out the exact name of the toxin.
As a reminder, Navalny felt seedy on the plane when he was returning from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20. As a result, the pilots were forced to make an emergency landing, and Alexey himself was sent to the Omsk hospital by ambulance. After some time, his family managed to get the oppositionist transported to Germany for further treatment.
The incident caused an excessive resonance among the largest politicians. German Chancellor Angela Merkel appointed Navalny as her guest, thanks to which it was possible to strengthen his security. Together with Heiko Maas, the head of the German Foreign Ministry, on August 24, politicians called on the Russian authorities to conduct a detailed investigation to find out the cause of the poisoning. French President Emmanuel Macron also joined the demands. It is also known that the head of the European Council, Charles Michel, personally phoned Russian President Vladimir Putin on this issue. Donald Trump expressed his concern about it, he ordered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to study the issue and provide a detailed report.
Some politicians are awaiting the introduction of new sanctions on Russia from the US and EU authorities due to the suspecting government in poisoning an opposition leader.
Until today, the most high-profile story of poisoning has been associated with a former GRU employee Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. On March 4, 2018, they were found unconscious in a park in Salisbury, UK. Thanks to the prompt work of doctors, they were saved. There is speculation that the Skripals were poisoned with a substance called Novichok. According to the doctors who deal with Navalny, he was poisoned with a drug from the same group.
Last time, the British authorities ordered the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the country. America, in response to the incident, imposed a ban on the import of technologies related to national security into the country. In addition, restrictions were introduced for banks to work with Russian securities. The European Union also didn’t stand aside. It imposed a ban on the entry into the EU of anyone who was allegedly involved in the assassination attempt.
In the case of Navalny, first of all, it is necessary to wait for the final verdict of the doctors. After that, it will be possible to talk about possible sanctions that the states will impose in response. The most likely restrictions will be one on the entry of certain individuals or diplomats, as well as the seizure of a number of accounts. These sanctions are dangerous because they don’t need a court decision to be imposed.
It is worth noting the fact that the poisoning of Navalny to some extent influenced the attitude of foreign investors towards Russian assets. For example, the Russian ruble fell against the euro and the dollar. Rosbank noted in its analytical note that the poisoning of the oppositionist is one of the factors that adds uncertainty to the national currency.
Also, the main reasons for the fall of the Russian ruble are the protests in Belarus, the fall in oil prices, as well as the falling interest of foreign investors in federal loan bonds, experts say.