On February 22, a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels will decide what the EU’s future policy will be towards Russia. MEP Serhiy Lagodynsky told Nastoyaschee Vremya TV channel, created by Radio Liberty with the participation of Voice of America, why Brussels is tired of relations with Russia and when new sanctions may be imposed in connection with the imprisonment of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny. .
Before the meeting in Brussels INEU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Joseph Borrell stressed the importance of a consolidated decision on sanctions against Russia through the persecution of the Russian opposition Navalny and andignoring the Kremlin decision European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR).
“It is clear that Russia is on the path of confrontation with the European Union. Navalny’s case concerns a refusal to cooperate, including a refusal to take into account the decision of the European Court of Human Rights. An important discussion in the Council of Foreign Ministers will be how to respond. I hope that we will do it together and decisively, “Borrel said.
– I think that the meeting will decide how to promote sanctions. The decisions will then be handed over to the well-known EU High Representative for International Affairs, Mr Borrell. So he will do everything necessary, so to speak, the technical basis for the imposition of sanctions.
– Tell me, can you in any way comment on the request of the European Court of Human Rights, which said that Oleksiy Navalny should be released immediately. How serious is this thing? What will happen if Russia continues to ignore this demand? Experts are beginning to discuss Russia’s possible withdrawal from the Council of Europe.
– The situation here is complicated, because there really are no legal levers that could work quickly now. However, this decision contains the possibility to submit it to the Council of Ministers of the Council of Europe, and again the Council of Ministers will decide what to do at the political level.
As for the legal dimension, it is very difficult. Sanctions, as far as I understand, according to Convention on Human Rights can be implemented if there is a final, ie final, decision on the merits. It was not a decision in essence, it was a temporary solution in order to save a person’s life in this case. But Russia can ignore this decision (this is not the first decision ignored by the Russian Federation). By the way, not only she, Turkey also ignores such decisions.
I just think that now there will be a principled discussion about what to do with countries like Russia and Turkey. And political pressure to take away Russia’s right to vote in the Council of Europe will increase.
There is a final loss of reputation of the Russian justice system. This is proof that the Russian justice system does not want to be part of the civilized, legal part of the world.
And in this case – despite the fact that I have always been against depriving Russia of the right to vote, because I believe that it is very important that this court be, that there is a possibility of this instance for Russian society – but if it does not no effect, then why have such an instance at all ?!
Many also think so, and think that in Russia it is necessary to take away the right to vote in the Council of Europe.
– This is a very interesting area, so to speak. Because, on the one hand, it is clear that in different countries of the world, which are united by some unions, personal relations with Russia may also be different, but there is a very such position that it is much better, even with some differences, to have a platform for dialogue with Russia. But it seems that more and more representatives of the EU are beginning to wonder why, in principle, to have this ring, if the other side completely ignores some prescribed rules. That is, there is no rational explanation for why you need to continue to complete the formalities.
– You see, the issue is not only in Russia. The fact is that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is one of the pearls of, say, legal progress in the framework of pan-European law and human rights. And any such disregard for the decisions of this court, and such, I must say, brazen, “and Baba Yaga against,” the Kremlin – in principle, destroys the reputation of this court.
And so many countries, many experts who may even sympathize with Russian citizens, are now faced with the question: “Can we afford to leave such behavior without any reaction, without any sanctions?”.
And again, I want to emphasize once again – not only the behavior of Russia, but also the behavior of Turkey, for example.
Therefore, these sanctions are also a measure of self-preservation and preservation of the reputation and functions of this court. Therefore, it is very difficult to leave without a reaction. And I think that some reaction should be and will be.
– How much has the mood about Russia changed? How to talk at all, sorry for the judgment, with aggressive countries? Is there any fatigue?
– You are absolutely right, there is fatigue. This is fatigue in the sense that you are already tired. I’m tired of trying to find some diplomatic ways if they don’t work.
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