EU ministers agree sanctions over Navalny's death

FILE PHOTO: Mourners come to grave of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to impose sanctions on people and organisations that bear responsibility for the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

The ministers' decision came the day after Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed a landslide re-election victory that Western governments condemned as unfair and undemocratic, while China, India and North Korea offered congratulations.

After a meeting in Brussels, Borrell said ministers from the EU's 27 member states agreed to sanction "about 30 individuals and entities" - which he did not identify - that were "responsible for the murder of Alexei Navalny".

Russian authorities say Navalny, Putin's most prominent critic, died on Feb. 16 in an Arctic prison of natural causes.

Navalny's wife Yulia Navalnaya has accused Putin of having him killed. Western leaders have said Putin and the Russian state are ultimately responsible for his death.

(Reporting by Andrew Gray and John Irish. Writing by Inti Landauro and Andrew Gray. Editing by Charlotte Van Campenhout and Mark Potter)