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Russia may give tit-for-tat response to UK’s sanctions on FSB officers, diplomat cautions

Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Second European Department Sergey Belyayev noted that the response will always be appropriate

ARKHANGELSK, August 30. /TASS/. Moscow may furnish an asymmetrical response to the sanctions that the United Kingdom imposed on Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) officers allegedly involved in last year’s incident around blogger Alexey Navalny, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Second European Department Sergey Belyayev told TASS on Monday.

"It is a completely far-fetched and groundless step," he pointed out. "We will give a response but what the response will be like is another question. It may be asymmetrical but it will always be appropriate," Belyayev stressed.

On August 20, the British authorities introduced sanctions against seven FSB officers whom they consider to be involved in the Navalny incident. This is London’s second package of sanctions over the incident. In October 2020, the UK slapped restrictions on six Russian nationals, including First Deputy Chief of Staff of the Presidential Executive Office Sergei Kiriyenko and FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov.

Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20, 2020, after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He was later airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital. The German authorities claimed on September 2, 2020, that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family. Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has repeatedly pointed out that Moscow was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany and that no poisonous substances were detected in Navalny’s body prior to his transfer to Berlin.