Alexei Navalny Photograph:( Reuters )
Foreign ministers of the European Union on Monday agreed to sanction four senior officials from Russia in the aftermath of crackdown on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny
Foreign ministers of the European Union on Monday agreed to sanction four senior officials from Russia in the aftermath of crackdown on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
The diplomats did not reveal details of the names of officials who are set to face asset freezes and travel bans.
On February 20, a Moscow court convicted Alexei Navalny for defaming a World War II veteran who was among a group of Russians he called "traitors" for appearing in a pro-Kremlin video.
Judge Vera Akimova ordered him to pay a fine of 850,000 rubles ($11,500/9,500 euros).
The said promotional video backed constitutional reforms last year. The reforms, approved in a referendum, will let Russian President Vladimir Putin run for two more terms in the Kremlin after 2024 if he wants to.
Before the judge began reading the verdict, Navalny made jokes and spoke to reporters from inside his glass box. "Why are you so sad?" he said, adding he was trying to make ice cream in jail and had already made pickled cucumbers.
Navalny was ordered on February 2 to serve time in a penal colony for breaching his parole terms while he was in Germany recovering from a nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin.
The Kremlin critic, earlier on Saturday, lost an appeal against his jailing over a separate case.
In the hearing, Judge Dmitry Balashov dismissed Navalny's appeal of a decision to imprison him for violating the terms of a suspended sentence on embezzlement charges he says were politically motivated.
He described the legal process to jail him as "absurd" and called on Russians to take action to make the country a better place. "Russia should be not only free but also happy," Navalny said.
Prosecutors said Navalny had acted as if he was above the law and had "an exclusive right to do as he pleases".