The Eu Agreed To Expand Sanctions Against Russia’S Crackdown On Navani And The Opposition

2021-02-22   |   by CusiGO

European Union foreign ministers met in Brussels on Monday and agreed to publish a list of new sanctions for human rights violations related to the Kremlin. The decision will take effect in the next few days after a recent confrontation between Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, and Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s foreign minister, in Moscow, Alexei navani, the Russian opposition, has been jailed and some supporters suppressed.

According to diplomatic sources, the agreement clears the way for a new round of sanctions. It shows that the relationship between Brussels and Moscow is deteriorating. In addition to trade sanctions against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the European Union has banned more than 180 senior Russian government officials from entering the country and ordered the freezing of their property on the territory of the European Union. Under the new human rights sanctions instrument, the list will now be expanded to another round.

However, punishment is symbolic, not real. Another list, with a small number of names, seems to have little impression of the top of the Kremlin. On Monday, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s ambassador to the European Union, played down what he said in an interview: “a new round of illegal and unilateral restrictive measures against Russia, which can not be called sanctions, because sanctions are the exclusive prerogative of the United Nations Security Council.”.

Most European partners are shocked by what they see as Russia’s current president’s authoritarian and aggressive tendencies. However, the capital of big powers headed by Berlin calls for a very gradual response, which will never damage bilateral relations with neighboring countries. On the contrary, the most vulnerable partners, such as Poland and the Baltic States, advocate strong measures to curb any extraterritorial temptation from Moscow.

The 27 countries have chosen a middle road closer to the Berlin principle and will impose targeted penalties on a small number of senior Russian officials, who may prove to have some connection with the imprisonment of navani and the suppression of the demonstrators.

A sanctions regime for human rights violations was adopted in December last year, allowing for the punishment of individuals responsible for alleged human rights violations. The mechanism imitates the so-called magnitsky act of the United States and aims to focus the punishment on specific people without establishing a sanctions system on their country of origin.

This is the fourth sanctions regime imposed on Russia since 2014, when there was economic retaliation for the occupation and annexation of Ukrainian Crimea territory. In 2019, EU and Russian and Syrian officials announced a new sanctions regime for chemical weapons attacks, which was also used to punish navani poisoning at the end of last year. In 2020, the EU and Russia also launched a sanctions system against cyber attacks.

Brussels stressed that sanctions are not an end in themselves, but a tool to change the behavior or practices of countries subject to sanctions. However, as far as Russia is concerned, the EU’s repeated retaliation has so far failed to change the international policy of its President Vladimir Putin. Brussels accused Putin of interfering in the western democratic process and using chemical weapons to carry out attacks on the territory of the EU, Harassing neighboring countries (such as Ukraine or Georgia) and military intervention in conflicts such as Syria or Libya.

European foreign ministers also agreed on Monday to extend the sanctions against Venezuela’s Maduro regime after the December 6 National Assembly election. The EU has also added 19 Venezuelan senior officials, who have been banned from all 27 member states and frozen in property on European territory. Ministers said the punishment was because the charges undermined the democratic rights of the Venezuelan opposition in the elections, which Brussels said did not meet the minimum standards of pluralism and transparency.

Since the EU began to take restrictive measures against the Maduro regime in 2017, the new sanctions have increased the list of Venezuelan authorities to 55.