Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Navalny: EU agreement on minimum sanctions against Russia / No oligarch to be on sanctioned list (UPDATE) – International


EU foreign ministers decided on Monday to adopt new targeted sanctions against those responsible for judicial investigations targeting Russian opponent Alexei Navalny, several diplomatic sources told AFP.

A “political agreement” for new targeted sanctions was reached at the meeting and European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell was tasked with proposing a list of Russian officials subject to sanctions.

However, this list would not contain the name of any oligarch.

According to diplomats consulted by Reuters, the head of the Investigations Committee, the director of the penitentiaries, the director of the National Guard and the general prosecutor of Russia could be targeted.

In November 2020, Navalny told MEPs: “The EU must target the money, the oligarchs, not just the former oligarchs, but the new ones, members of Putin’s close circle.”

However, Monday’s agreement only targets four senior officials.

Opponents of the opposition said they were disappointed. “If you are going to sanction ten Kremlin officials who do not like to travel abroad and who do not have goods abroad, then it will not be painful and will not send the message,” warned Leonid Volkov, who came to Brussels to plead for European sanctions against oligarchs close to President Putin.

The European response is “targeted, proportionate and legally unassailable,” a European foreign minister said.

“It is not possible to sanction oligarchs. We can only act against officials and this only if we have evidence,” Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn explained before the meeting.

European sanctions consist of banning visas and freezing assets in the EU for the persons or entities concerned.



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