The Foreign Ministers of the European Union on Monday (Feb 22), the bloc’s top diplomat, said that it agreed to place sanctions on Russian officials for the detention and military capture of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
During this month’s coup, the EU will maintain sanctions against the Myanmar army and will refuse any development assistance.
“We took the political agreement to apply sanctions targeting the military responsible for the coup and their economic interests,” EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.
“All direct financial support from our development system to the government reform programmes is withheld.”
In a coup that has brought international condemnation, the military has forced down and jailed civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi, and has conducted an increasingly bloody raid on demonstrators.
Borrell maintained that the bloc would not curtail the country’s trade links, since that could influence the population as a whole.
Russian SENIOR TARGETED OFFICIALS
Russia called the EU’s move “disappointing” and “unlawful” The US welcomed Moscow’s decision to take action.
Diplomats said that AFP will enforce sanctions upon Russia by using the EU human rights regime that was introduced last year and aim at four senior officials considered responsible for the persecution of Navalnya.
The diplomats did not mention the goals, but the small move seems to deceive those who call for hard reactions.
At the ministerial meeting in Brussels, Navalny’s associates and European legislators urgently demanded oligarchs tasked with financing the rule of President Vladímir Putin.
The sanctions are meant to give a “statement that we are not prepared to accept certain things” by German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas.
“But it is also necessary that we continue to have a dialogue with Russia,” he said.
The number of people to be goals was not verified by Borrell.
He said he would officially send the names to be sanctioned and that he hoped that within a week the steps would be taken.
“We have to sanction the people who are directly connected to his arrest, his sentencing, his persecution,” said Borrell.
The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that “under a far-fetched pretext to prepare new unlawful unilateral restrictions on Russian citizens, is disappointing”
Ned Price, Speaker of the State Ministry, told the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, that he took a realistic part in the EU meeting and “welcomed” the decision.
Moscow mood was hot in the EU after the Kremlin expelled three European diplomats, which took Borrel in diplomatic embassies on a disastrous visit to Moscow this month.
The Block has already reached Russia on the side of Crimea and Moscow’s position in Eastern Ukraine in 2014 with waves of sanctions.
In October the EU put the Soviet-era Nerval Agent Novichok on a blacklist for the August poisoning of Navalny.
The leading domestic critic of Putin, Navalny, was imprisoned for almost three years in Germany this week after returning to Russia for his intoxication.
His detention triggered national demonstrations, which saw thousands of people detained by security forces.
At a meeting on Sunday with eight EU foreign ministers in Brussels, two of Navalny’s closest associates urged sanctions against Putin’s top ring.
“If it’s just 10 Kremlin officials who don’t travel abroad and don’t have assets abroad, then, indeed, it would not be painful,” Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s leading assistants, told reporters.
In a blacklist for “undermining democracy” and human rights abusses, the European ministers added 19 Venezuelan officials in December after the EU dismissed parliamentary elections as anti-democrátic.
The bloc addressed continued repression in Belarus and considered the need to enforce a fourth round of sanctions on the government of President Alexander Lukashenko.
Ministers also looked at China’s Hong Kong repression as the EU seeks to determine whether its response should be improved.
Borrell said Brussels would help civil societies in Hong Kong as a first step, contemplating more action if things escalated.
Blinken’s first speech in front of the whole bloc was the rough talk of Russia, Venezuela and China.
Both parties are trying, in order to compromise in a variety of topics, to bring behind them the tensions of former US president Donald Trump.
The debate on Monday discussed the strategy against common opponents such as Russia and China and attempts to reintegrate the USA into the hard-won Iran nuclear deal in 2015.
After Trump left the agreement in 2018, the EU plans to broker a meeting between Washington, Tehran, and other signatories, including Moscow.