Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Russia warns EU of new sanctions


“I would not speculate on whether our partners will take new illegal, unilateral, restrictive measures against my country. If that happens, we will be ready to react, “the diplomat told the German newspaper die Welt ahead of the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday.

“In any case, Russia’s measures will be based on facts and analysis, not guesses and emotions,” Chizhov stressed.

The Russian ambassador has criticized “our partners’ EU decisions” towards Russia, calling them “illogical and surprisingly politicized”. The EU has systematically obstructed the development of relations with Russia in recent years under “absurd pretexts”. Russia, meanwhile, is a “reliable partner” that does not slam the door.

The pretext for new EU sanctions is the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navaln and the crackdown on protesters who took to the streets to support him.

Vladimir Chizhov

Navaln, a critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was arrested immediately after returning from Germany, where he was being treated after a poison attack against him in Russia. Shortly afterwards, he was sentenced to almost three years in prison for violating the conditions of his previous parole during his treatment.

On Saturday, a Moscow court upheld A. Navalnas’ sentence of one and a half years in prison. In addition, in another trial for defaming a war veteran, he was fined € 9,500.

EU foreign ministers, according to diplomats, intend to take a decision in principle on new sanctions on Russia on Monday.

Late on Sunday, two close associates of Navaln met in Brussels with eight EU foreign ministers and several community ambassadors.

One of these comrades, Leonid Volkov, told AFP that “there was talk of targeted personal sanctions [Rusijos prezidentui Vladimirui] “Putin’s closest allies and people guilty of gross human rights abuses.”

However, EU diplomats said measures could only be taken against those directly responsible for Russia’s treatment of Navaln, as the list of targets could be challenged in court.

The meeting, which took place on Sunday, was initiated by Lithuania. Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis did not name any other EU officials involved.

“It simply came to our notice then [pirmadieniui] “That we will decide unanimously on the list” to whom the new sanctions should apply, AFG Landsberg said.

The position vis-à-vis Moscow tightened after Borrell’s unsuccessful trip to Russia, during which Moscow announced the expulsion of three European diplomats and refused to negotiate cooperation.

The EU has repeatedly imposed sanctions on Russia on several occasions for the annexation of Crimea in 2014 and incitement to war in eastern Ukraine.

In October, the bloc added six officials to the list of sanctions related to last year’s poisoning of A. Navalnas with the nerve-paralyzing substance “Novičiok”.

Putin’s most prominent critic was sentenced to more than two and a half years in prison this month after returning to Russia after treatment in Germany.

The verdict has also provoked mass protests in many Russian cities, during which thousands of people have been detained by security forces.

Navaln’s comrade: Putin is preparing for electoral fraud in September

A close associate of convicted Kremlin critic Navaln called on the European Union to impose sanctions on a close circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin and warned that the Kremlin was preparing to rig in the September parliamentary elections.

The head of A. Navalnas’ headquarters L. Volkov said this after a meeting with a group of EU foreign ministers on the initiative of Lithuania in Brussels on Sunday evening.

“Everything that is happening in Russia should be seen in the context of the upcoming Duma elections. We are in the middle of the political season and almost all of Navalnas’ comrades have been deported or under house arrest, “L. Volkov said after a meeting with EU ministers by phone BNS.

“It’s not just Navaln’s personal story, it’s about Putin preparing for a major election rig in September,” Volkov said.

He said he had discussed with EU ministers “targeted personal sanctions on Putin’s closest allies and people guilty of gross human rights abuses, but not sanctions on the Russian economy that could be exploited by propaganda.”

Eight EU foreign ministers attended a meeting with Volkov and another assistant to A. Navaln, the head of the Anti-Corruption Fund, Ivan Zhdanov, on Sunday evening, most other countries were represented by ambassadors, and a representative of the European Commission also attended.

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