EU International Ministers discuss amid uproar over Ukraine, Navalny

Brussels, April 19

European Union foreign ministers on Monday assessing the bloc’s strategy toward Russia in the wake of the military buildup on Ukraine borders and amid the weakening health of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

The diplomatic standoff between EU member state the Czech Republic and Russia over tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions following Prague’s accusation that Moscow was involved in a 2014 ammunition depot explosion is adding further tension between both sides.

Diplomats said there was little to no chance of immediate new sanctions on Moscow, but they would seek to apply pressure nevertheless. In Germany, some politicians have called for an end to the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project with Russia.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell already criticised the Kremlin for its arrest and treatment of Navalny on Sunday and insisted he should have access to medical professionals he trusts. — AP

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