Eight European Union countries today called for sanctions on Russia’s prosecutors, courts and prison officials over the death earlier this month of a Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, as appears from a letter available to him by the Reuters agency.

The letter, sent to the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, was signed by the foreign ministers of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Sweden and Romania.

However, officials said the letter was also supported by the Netherlands, France, Ireland and Denmark, bringing total support to 12 countries.

“Alexei Navalny’s death is yet another indication of the accelerating and systematic repression in Russia. This requires collective action,” states the letter from the foreign ministers.

“We believe there is a strong case for a separate Russia-specific sanctions regime designed to address the situation in the country,” mentioned in the letter.

“The new regime will provide a solid legal basis to register individuals from Russia’s repressive state apparatus, including those involved in politically motivated decisions against members of civil society and the democratic opposition and their subsequent detention, such as those within the judicial chain (prosecutors, courts and prisons) », mentioned in the letter.