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Feb. 22 – On Monday, the foreign ministers of the European Union agreed to place sanctions on the leaders of the Myanmar junta over its coup and on Russia for the imprisonment of Alexey Navalny, the opposition leader and critic of Vladimir Putin. In the socialist country, the bloc also blacklisted nearly 20 Venezuelans for undermining democracy.

Myanmar

European Union High Representative Josep Borrell told reporters in Brussels that the 27 members of the EU have decided to impose targeted sanctions on the Myanmar military in the wake of allegations of escalating state violence against demonstrators. “These events are extremely worrying,” he said. “People are being killed in the demonstrations. We strongly condemn this military coup and unacceptable violence against peaceful demonstrators.

“In the midst of widespread daily demonstrations against the army known as the Tatmadaw on Saturday, at least three civilians have died, including two, after it usurped government power from Myanmar’s civilian leaders on Feb. 1, alleging irregularities during the parliamentary election in November.Since then, President U Win Myint and other government leaders, activists and journalists have been detained by Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the nation’s civilian leader whose party won the elections in a landslide.

The Assistance Association for Political Prisoners of Myanmar has counted 648 individuals who have been convicted, charged or sentenced since Feb. 1, a rise from Sunday of nearly 40 individuals.The election, Myanmar’s second since transitioning from a military dictatorship in 2015, was “an important milestone” in the transformation of the country, Borrell said in a statement earlier this month after the coup, opposing the usurpation of the Tatmadaw as unconstitutional and calling on it to return the country to civil rule.

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On Monday, he clarified that the union would also maintain all direct financial support from development assistance from the Myanmar government, but it will not limit all trade due to fears that it will affect the people and not the usurpers.”We are going to target sanctions to the military and to economic interests of the military,” Borrell said Monday. And in this country, as in other countries around the world, the military does more than just security, they are also the ones who own or operate a large part of the country’s economy.

And in order to impact them and their interests, but not the well-being of the people, we have to target our sanctions. Sanctions against the Tatmadaw leaders have previously been declared by Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the United States.U.S. Russia Concerning Russia, Germany’s foreign minister, Heiko Maas, said the council sanctioned unidentified persons involved in Navalny’s prosecution and sentencing earlier this month to more than two years in jail.

“The EU does not want to remain silent on this; we will now draw conclusions from this. It is necessary,”The EU does not want to remain silent on this; we will draw conclusions from this now. It’s necessary.Borrell told reporters that there was agreement among foreign ministers that Russia was moving toward authoritarianism and was driving away from Europe and was involved in confronting the bloc.The sanctions against unidentified Russian figures will be used for the first time by the Global Human Rights Sanctions System of the European Union, adopted in December, he said.

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These sanctions will be imposed today under the proposal of the High Representative in the pipeline of our administrative process,”These sanctions will be put in the pipeline of our administrative process today under a proposal of the high representative,”In a statement on Monday, the Russian Foreign Ministry dismissed the sanctions as “disappointing,” saying they are “a far-fetched pretext” for placing restrictions on the Russian citizens.

“We consider categorically unacceptable constantly sounding illegal and absurd demands for the “liberation” of a citizen of the Russian Federation who was convicted of economic crimes by a Russian court on the territory of our country in accordance with Russian legislation,”In mid-January, Navalny was arrested after returning from Germany to Russia, where he was being treated in August for Novichok poisoning, which put him in a comma.

Russia has denied being behind the attempted assassination.He was convicted on Feb. 2 for violating terms of parole by moving to Germany. After being found guilty of embezzling some $470,000 from a cosmetics firm, charges which the European Court of Human Rights has called politically motivated, he was sentenced to more than three years in prison in December 2014. The EU sanctioned six government officials in October over Navalny’s poisoning.With Venezuela

The bloc also sanctioned 19 Venezuelan officials on Monday for “undermining democracy and the rule of law in the country.” After the Council adopted a resolution at the end of January to punish those responsible for the ‘deteriorating situation’ in Venezuela following the December elections, which several Western nations, including the bloc, said they did not recognize, the sanctions lift the total number of people blacklisted by the EU to 55.

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“The individuals added to the list are responsible, notable, for undermining the oppositions’ electoral rights and the democratic functioning of the National Assembly, and for serious violations of human rights and restrictions of fundamental freedoms,” the EU said in a statement.In a statement on Monday, Jorge Arreaza, Venezuela’s foreign minister, opposed the imposition of sanctions, calling them ‘unilateral coercive measures.’Venezuela

‘Singling honorable people with false claims in response to a group of EU Member States’ anger at the apparent ineffectiveness of their acts to force a change of government in Venezuela is nothing more than another clumsy decision, the sole aim of which is to adversely affect the political dialogue taking place in Venezuela,’ he said.Ned Price, the U.S. spokesperson. The State Department supported the punitive move by the EU to attack the Maduro regime.

He tweeted late Monday, “This is a clear, powerful and concrete message that the world is united in calling for a return to democracy in Venezuela,” The bloc also sanctioned 19 Venezuelan officials on Monday for “undermining democracy and the rule of law in the country.”

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