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MP warns EU’s looming sanctions will further erode ties with Russia, vows retaliation

Leonid Slutsky noted that "this in no way can facilitate any normalization of relations"

MOSCOW, February 22. /TASS/. New sanctions by the European Union against Russia will become another step towards degradation of relations, they won’t be left without response from the Russian side. This opinion was voiced to journalists by head of the Russian State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Leonid Slutsky on Monday.

"Sanctions of the European Union over the case of Navalny will become one more step towards degradation of relations with Russia. Brussels consistently follows a direction towards a decline in a mutual dialogue, using absolutely contrived and provocative excuses at that," the lawmaker said, stating that "this in no way can facilitate any normalization [of relations]."

He expressed confidence that the next sanctions attack "won’t be left without response of the Russian side."

"Brussels drives the partnership with Moscow into a dead end with the exit to be found only if the policy of containment of Russia is cast off," the lawmaker asserted.

Earlier, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell at a press conference after a meeting of foreign ministers of 27 EU countries in Brussels reported of a political decision to introduce new sanctions regarding individuals responsible, in the opinion of the EU, for sentencing of blogger Alexey Navalny. According to him, for the first time sanctions will be imposed within the framework of the sanctions mechanism on violation of human rights.

Navalny, who received suspended sentences for embezzlement twice, was wanted in Russia for repeated violations of conditions of his conviction in the Yves Rocher case. On January 17, he was detained at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport upon arrival from Berlin. Moscow’s Khimki Court placed him under arrest. On February 2, Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court converted Alexey Navalny’s suspended sentence to jail time.