Russia blacklists 8 EU officials in retaliatory action

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has blacklisted eight officials from the European Union in retaliation for EU sanctions over the imprisonment of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The Russian Foreign Ministry accused the EU of trying to punish Moscow for its “independent foreign and domestic policies” and of trying contain its development with unlawful sanctions. The EU sanctions announced in March targeted the Russian officials involved in the imprisonment of Navalny, the most adamant critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Navalny was arrested in January upon his return from Germany where he spent five months recovering from a Soviet-era nerve agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin — accusations that Russian officials reject. European labs have confirmed the poisoning.