Berlin and Paris made the proposal at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg, saying they had no credible explanation from Moscow for the presence of Agent Noviciok in Navalni’s body.
The speed with which the two major EU powers have agreed to push for sanctions suggests a tightening of the bloc’s stance on Moscow.
After the Noviciok attack on a former Russian spy in Britain in 20018, it took almost a year for the EU to agree to sanction some Russians.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told reporters at the meeting that Navalni’s poisoning could not “go unnoticed.”
“France and Germany are proposing to impose sanctions on certain people who have drawn our attention to this,” Maas said, without giving details.
EU diplomats told Reuters that there was widespread support among the 27 foreign ministers for freezing assets and travel bans for several Russian military intelligence officers within the GRU.
Moscow denies any involvement in Navalny’s poisoning.
Russian MP Vladimir Dabarov said on Monday that Russia could respond to EU sanctions symmetrically and reiterated Moscow’s position that there was no concrete evidence behind the allegations, Interfax news agency reported.
Sanctions are not expected immediately, as legal texts must be prepared and approved by experts from the 27 EU states.
Navalny fell ill during a flight to Siberia on August 20, and was later flown to Berlin for treatment. Blood samples taken from him confirmed the presence of a nerve agent from the noviciok family, which is prohibited.
Western governments and NATO have said Russia must help with investigations or deal with the consequences.
Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg, whose country tended to maintain closer ties with Russia, said a “return to normal business relations” was not possible and that Moscow had failed to clarify its doubts. to poisoning.