MOSCOW

Russia may suspend dialogue with the EU for some time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday, a day after the bloc decided to implement sanctions.

“The people who are responsible for the Western foreign policy do not understand the need for mutually respectful dialogue,” Lavrov said at a discussion club in Moscow.

He accused the EU of adopting the “US style of threatening and punishing states with sanctions.”

The statement came after a Monday meeting in Brussels of EU foreign ministers where they agreed to slap Moscow with fresh sanctions over the alleged poisoning of Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters after the meeting that they agreed to implement “restrictive measures” that would be carried out by the technical bodies of the European Council.

The measures include freezing assets as well as imposing a travel ban on those responsible for the poisoning.

Navalny, 44, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, felt sick on Aug. 20 on a flight to Moscow. After an emergency landing in the Siberian city of Omsk, he spent two days in a Russian hospital before being sent to Berlin for treatment.

After running tests in several labs, German officials announced that Navalny was poisoned with the nerve agent Novichok, which was also used, according to the UK government, in a 2018 attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the British town of Salisbury.

Russian authorities deny any involvement in the case, saying chemical weapons are neither developed nor produced in the country since the last chemical round was destroyed in 2017, as verified and certified by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Following treatment, Navalny was discharged from a Berlin hospital on Sept. 23.

* Writing and contribution by Iclal Turan in Ankara

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