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EU to use new ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions in response to Navalny poisoning and imprisonment : EU Reporter China

EU to use new ‘Magnitsky’ sanctions in response to Navalny poisoning and imprisonment

| February 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

By Catherine Feore

At today’s (22 February) Foreign Affairs Council, ministers had a comprehensive and strategic discussion on EU-Russia relations, in preparation for a strategic debate on EU-Russia relations at the next European Council. During the debate a shared assessment emerged that Russia was drifting towards an authoritarian state and away from Europe.

EU Magnitsky Act

On Alexander Navalny, ministers agreed to make use of the recently adopted EU global human rights regime for the first time since its inception, the so-called EU Magnitsky Act.

“In response to the events around the situation of Mr. Navalny we reached a political agreement to impose restrictive measures against those responsible for his arrest, sentencing and persecution. For the first time ever we will make use of the EU Global Human Rights Regime to this end,� Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

Borrell was asked if the EU would be prepared to sanction oligarchs close to Putin, as Navalny has requested, but Borrell replied that he could only propose sanctions on those directly involved, otherwise the sanctions would be found to be illegal.

Push back, contain, engage

Ministers discussed how it should deal with Russia in the current circumstances. The High Representative outlined three elements to the EU approach. The EU will push back on infringements of international law and human rights. It will try to contain disinformation and cyberattacks, but will also engage on issues of interest to the EU.

Ministers also agreed to increase support to all those engaged in defending political and civil freedoms in Russia.

Source:: EU Reporter Feed

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