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Kremlin says it's not ready to tolerate EU's treatment of it over Navalny

FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny delivers a speech during a rally to demand the release of jailed protesters, who were detained during opposition demonstrations for fair elections, in Moscow, Russia September 29, 2019/File Photo

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday it was not ready to tolerate the unacceptable way it said the European Union had treated it over the poisoning case of Alexei Navalny, and could not maintain a dialogue with the bloc by its own efforts alone.

European Union foreign ministers on Monday backed a Franco-German plan to impose sanctions on Russians suspected of poisoning Kremlin critic Navalny with a nerve agent.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia might have to freeze dialogue with the EU because of its failure to understand what he called “the need for mutually respectful dialogue”.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov backed Lavrov’s comments on Wednesday. He said Moscow had not been the one to shut down dialogue with the EU at all kinds of levels, but obviously couldn’t tolerate the way the bloc had treated Russia over the Navalny case.

Reporting by Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber and Anton Kolodyazhnyy; Editing by Andrew Osborn