The Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has asked the European Union to ban allies of Vladimir Putin from entering their countries.
In a Berlin interview with Bild, Navalny who is recovering from poisioning singled out the conductor Valery Gergiev as a powerful propagandist and apologist for Putins crimes.
‘He is the perfect example,’ said Navalny. ‘Such people must be put under pressure. People like him must be slapped with entry bans and you know what? Ninety-nine percent of Russians would welcome that.’
Gergiev, 67, is chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic, as well as the Mariinsky companies in Russia.
This is the first time a prominent politician has called for sanctions to be imposed on him.
The EU will dither over this for a while, waiting to see if Navalny survives his next assassination attempt. But the ice has been broken. Gergiev is complicit in Putin’s war crimes in Ukraine and Syria. Other governments should take note and consider a ban.