Statements by Russian officials show that they are aware of the inevitability of EU sanctions, so the mantra that Russia is fully prepared to sever relations with the EU in the event of new sanctions is repeatedly repeated over the past week. This has been repeatedly said by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who has also called the EU an unreliable partner and said that the EU’s decision to admit the Baltic and Eastern European countries 15 years ago has had a major impact on the current state of Russia-EU relations.
The ambassadors did not object
The new sanctions could complement those imposed last October following the August nerve-paralyzing poisoning of Navalny. At the time, the EU added Alexander Bortnikov, head of Russia’s Federal Security Service, first deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration, former prime minister Sergei Kirijenko, Andrei Yarin, head of the presidential administration’s internal policy, and Alexei Krivorovko, deputy defense minister, to the list of banned financial assets and bans on entry. , as well as the Presidential Representative in the Siberian Federal District, Sergei Mennailo. The list of sanctions also included the Russian State Research Institute for Organic Chemistry and Technology, which was once involved in the development and production of chemical weapons, including nerve-paralyzing substances such as Novichok.
EU government support for the sanctions has grown following a visit to Moscow by bloc foreign spokesman Joseph Borrell, which many saw as a complete failure, during which Lavrov blamed EU leaders for lying about poisoning Navalny and calling them “unreliable partners”.
Politico.euReferring to three high-ranking EU diplomats, no Member State objected to the drafting of new sanctions at a meeting of Member States’ ambassadors last Wednesday, nor to the use of the so-called EU Magnitsky law, a mechanism agreed by the EU last December, which allows for a stronger crackdown on human rights abuses. Reuters reports that at the meeting of ambassadors, representatives of Sweden, Germany, France, Poland and the Baltic States have actively called for sanctions against Russian officials. Some countries have already made proposals for specific surnames, but these have not yet been made public.
EU foreign ministers will also discuss how to give more concrete support to civil society in Russia, how to combat the spread of disinformation, and which areas need to keep dialogue with Moscow open, such as Iran’s nuclear deal, and climate change.
Will turn against the callers
Meanwhile, Russia is discussing how to take action against the Russian people, who have called for sanctions against their country’s officials. Interfax reports that the Speaker of the State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin admitted that the bill already adopted in the first reading, which provides for criminal liability for the enforcement of foreign sanctions on Russian territory, could include in the second reading criminal liability of persons calling for sanctions against Russian citizens.
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