The European Union extends sanctions against individuals and organizations involved in chemical weapons attacks for one year until October 2022. There are 15 people and two organizations on the criminal list.
According to the EU, they are involved in the poisoning of the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
The European sanctions system for the use of chemical weapons was set up in October 2018, a few months after former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter were attacked with nerve gas in Salisbury, England. Both survived the attack. In early 2019, the sanction was used for the first time against the four Russian agents believed to be responsible for the attack. The sanctions consist of asset freezes in the EU and entry bans.
At the same time, five individuals with ties to the Syrian regime and a Syrian organization involved in developing chemical weapons were placed on the sanctions list. They are held jointly responsible for a 2018 chemical war attack in the Syrian city of Douma. Forty to fifty people are said to have been killed and dozens more injured.
In October last year, the EU expanded the list to include six Russians and a Russian laboratory for their part in the poisoning of Navalny. The Kremlin critic became very ill during a domestic flight over Siberia in August 2020. He was sent to Germany for treatment. Experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) determined that the politician had been poisoned with the banned novichok nerve poison. The laboratory is the Moscow State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology, which is associated with the manufacture of novichok.