EU agrees to plan sanctions against Russia — sources

Foreign ministers from the EU member states agreed on Monday to impose sanctions on 4 prime Russian officers, following the crackdown against supporters of the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, diplomatic sources informed information businesses Reuters and AFP.

The symbolic response got here after France, Germany, Poland and the Baltics urged the bloc to impose restrictions on the Kremlin. 

EU diplomats informed reporters that the conferences didn’t handle particular names. But the bloc is now set to focus on the framework of restrictions, together with asset freezes and visa bans against people chargeable for the repressive actions against protesters and Navalny himself.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas spoke to the press earlier than the assembly, expressing his help for sanctions in addition to protecting dialogue channels with Russia open.

“I’m in favor of ordering the preparation of further sanctions, of listings of particular individuals,” Maas mentioned on his arrival to the talks.

“At the identical time we’d like to discuss how to sustain a constructive dialogue with Russia, at the same time as relations definitely have reached a low,” he added.

EU, Russia on a collision course

Eight EU international ministers, in addition to a number of EU ambassadors, met with two of Navalny’s shut allies on Sunday night forward of the talks.

Leonid Volkov, a detailed aide of Navanly, informed DW that the bloc ought to give attention to sanctioning the Russian president’s inside circle.

“The strongest solutions that might be given can be private focused sanctions against Putin’s closest allies, an important elements of the repressive machine he is constructed.”

“Unlike sectoral sanctions against [the] Russian financial system, these private sanctions could not be deemed by Russian propaganda for his or her favor.”

Gabrielius Landsbergis, international minister of Lithuania, which organized Sunday’s dialogue, mentioned “the most important hope for [Monday] is that we’ll make a unanimous resolution concerning the checklist” of individuals to be sanctioned.

Relations between Russia and the EU have continued to break down regardless of a current go to by EU international police chief Josep Borrell to Moscow, extensively considered to have been a catastrophe.

Borrell himself admitted as a lot earlier than Monday’s assembly. “It’s clear that Russia is on a confrontational course with the European Union,” he mentioned.

Years of EU sanctions against Russia

The EU imposed sanctions on a sequence of people, together with shut allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin, again in October after the poisoning of the federal government critic Alexei Navalny with the Soviet-era Novichok nerve agent. Russia responded with its personal particular person sanctions and the expulsion of three EU diplomats, which was introduced throughout Borrell’s journey.

Russia had already been hit with sanctions following its 2014 annexation of Crimea and its backing of insurgents in Ukraine.

But the Kremlin has additionally seen a wave of protests after police arrested Navalny on his return to the nation in January. The political activist has been sentenced to nearly three years in jail. The European Court of Human Rights has dominated that Navalny’s sentencing was illegal.

ab/rc (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)

The put up EU agrees to plan sanctions against Russia — sources appeared first on Deutsche Welle.

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