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Russia Threatens To Cut Ties With EU If Sanctions Are Imposed ...

the Moscow Court Press Service
the European Union
Getty Images
Solovyov Live
the Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service
the European Parliament
the Moscow Times

Scott Neuman
Alexei Navalny
Sergei Lavrov
Sergey Lavrov
Vladimir Putin
Josep Borrell
Vladimir Frolov





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The New York Times
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Russia is threatening to cut ties with the European Union if the bloc imposes sanctions over Navalny's arrest.Russia said Friday that it is prepared to cut ties with the European Union if the bloc slaps economic sanctions on the Kremlin in retaliation for the detention of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was asked in an interview on the Russian YouTube channel Solovyov Live whether Moscow is moving toward severing ties with the EU."We proceed from the fact that we're ready [for that]. Lavrov said Friday that Russia was prepared to cut ties with the European Union if the bloc imposed new sanctions.The comments come on the same day that Navalny, a prominent critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, appeared in court to face slander charges that he has denounced as politically motivated.Navalny, who narrowly survived a poisoning in August that is widely seen as an attempted assassination by the Kremlin, was jailed after his return from Germany, where he was receiving treatment after the attack.During his court appearance, Navalny, a lawyer, verbally parried with the judge from behind glass in his defendant's cage, accusing him at one point of not knowing the law.The slander charges against Navalny stem from his alleged defamation of a World War II veteran who appeared in a video backing constitutional reforms aimed at allowing Putin to extend his stay in office past 2024.Last week, the EU's high representative for foreign policy, Josep Borrell, visited Russia, reportedly to plead for Navalny's release and in hopes of easing tense relations with the Kremlin.

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