The German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on his colleagues from The EU to give the green light for the preparation of additional sanctions against Russia at a meeting in Brussels, reports Reuters.
“I support the drafting of additional sanctions and lists of specific persons“Maas said on arrival for the talks. He stressed that Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was sentenced not only to prison but also to be sent to a penal camp.
“At the same time, we must to talk about how to maintain a constructive dialogue with Russia, although relations have certainly reached a low level, “Maas added.
Diplomats said the European Union was ready to prepare travel bans and the freezing of assets of the Russian president’s allies Vladimir Putin in response to Navalny’s sentence.
However, Russia is needed “to settle many international conflicts“and the bloc must look for ways to dialogue” with the Kremlin, Maas said.
He also commented that Berlin may decide to impose sanctions on Myanmar authorities. He described recent developments in the Asian country as “alarming” and stressed that Germany cannot “stand aside” and watch, but also stressed that sanctions are the last resort.
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“It is clear that Russia is on a confrontational course with the European Union. In the case of Mr Navalny, there is a gross refusal to honor commitments, including a refusal to take into account the rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, “EU foreign policy chief Josep Borel was quoted as saying by the AP.
Borrell hopes EU foreign ministers will respond “unitedly and decisivelyBut countries in the EU have been deeply divided over their approach to Moscow. Russia is the EU’s largest supplier of natural gas and has played a key role in a number of international and key issues, including the nuclear deal with Iran and the conflicts in Syria. Libya.
Germany has strong economic interests, in particular the Nord Stream 2 project, a a number of countries, including France, are also reluctant to impose sanctions because of Navalny.
The meeting of foreign ministers is two weeks after Borrell was publicly humiliated by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov during a visit to Russia. Moscow expelled diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden, accusing them of attending a rally in support of Navalny.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinkon is also attending a meeting of EU foreign ministers – which also discuss the coup in Myanmar, the nuclear deal with Iran and the tensions in Hong Kong.
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