The European Union plans to sanction Russia’s chief prosecutor, Igor Krasnov, along with the heads of the investigation, the federal prison service and the Rosguard.
Two European diplomats told Reuters after EU foreign ministers gathered in Brussels today to discuss imposing new sanctions on Russian officials over the sentencing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The diplomat quoted by the agency confirmed that there was agreement among the foreign ministers that such restrictions should be imposed.
Last week, the European Court of Human Rights (the ECtHR, which is not an EU institution), demanded Navalny’s release. Russia accepts this, as well as the reactions of the West (and Bulgaria) on the subject, as interference in its internal affairs.
In an interview with Politico, highlights published today, Foreign Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva said no resistance to new sanctions was expected. Unlike those imposed last year over the poisoning of the Kremlin’s most notorious critic, the current ones are expected to follow the mechanism adopted last year to impose measures against individual violators of human rights and freedoms around the world.
Names have not been discussed today (but such civil servants were discussed last week) – the only solution is to impose sanctions under an accelerated procedure. Confirmation of the information is pending, but according to sources in various Russian and international publications, at least six government officials are expected to be on the list. A Reuters publication last week spoke of people close to President Vladimir Putin, without specifying names.
Who are on the list and why
This comes almost three weeks after a Russian court imposed (and was upheld on Saturday) an effective prison sentence on Navalny, replacing it with a suspended sentence from 2014. The court accepted the thesis of the prosecutor’s office and the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN, whose director is also on the list, according to diplomats), that he had violated the requirements of the suspended sentence by failing to appear for inspection in Russia during treatment with nerve agent poisoning by the Novice group in Germany. Following Russia’s refusal to investigate the case, the EU sanctioned the head of counterintelligence, deputy ministers and deputy heads of the presidential administration last year.
Navalny was detained on landing in Moscow five months later in Berlin, where he was recovering from poisoning (Russia suspects an assassination attempt was made on him, but laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden were later discovered by Novichok). His detention was at the request of the FSIN for violations of the suspended sentence. The same organization insisted that it be replaced by an effective one.
The FSIN in charge of prisons is headed by Alexander Kalashnikov, began his career in the KGB in 1987 and continued in the successor institution, the Federal Security Service.
The involvement of the head of the Rosguard (created in 2016 on the basis of the former Internal Troops of the Russian Interior Ministry) is not specified at the moment, but officials of this institution have been criticized in Russia and the West for the reaction to protests in support of Navalny last month. reports of violence against protesters. Thousands were detained during the demonstrations.
Rosguardia is headed by the person in charge of the internal troops at the Ministry of Interior between 2014 and 2016, and before that the head of the Federal Security Service Victor Zolotov. He began his career in the KGB, later in the security service of Russian President Boris Yeltsin. He met Putin in the 1990s when he worked as a bodyguard for St. Petersburg Mayor Anatoly Sobchak (Putin was then deputy mayor).
Igor Krasnov has been Russia’s chief prosecutor since January last year, when President Vladimir Putin replaced 14-year-old Yuri Chaika as part of a major change in government. Krasnov previously served as deputy chairman of Russia’s Investigative Committee. He has been a member of the country’s Security Council since February 3 this year. He was a senior investigator in cases such as the 2015 murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.
The Investigative Committee reports to the Russian president. Since its establishment in 2011, this institution has been run by Alexander Bastrykin, previously worked for five years as Deputy Chairman of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
Details are expected later at www.dnevnik.bg.
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