The European Union is placing punitive sanctions on Russian officials with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei Navalny (left).

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on October 1, 2020 shows Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (L, on January 16, 2018 in Moscow) and Russian President Vladimir Putin (on July 4, 2019 in Rome). – Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has accused President Vladimir Putin of being behind his poisoning, in his first interview published since he left the German hospital where he was treated. “I assert that Putin is behind this act, I don’t see any other explanation,” he told the German weekly Der Spiegel, which published extracts from the interview on its website Thursday, October 1, 2020. (Photos by Mladen ANTONOV and Tiziana FABI / AFP) (Photo by MLADEN ANTONOV,TIZIANA FABI/AFP via Getty Images)