At a press conference following a one-day meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Josep Borrell emphasized that preparations had begun for restrictive measures against specific individuals. Member States can decide on their specific proposals by written procedure within a week, he added.
Although it is not covered by the MTI, Reuters also referred to a diplomat who wrote about the four senior Russian officials who the EU, along with 6 other individuals and a Russian scientific institute, had put on the sanctions list and thus entered the EU. received an entry ban and an EU asset freeze:
- Alexander Bastrijkin, who conducts investigations into more serious public affairs and reports directly to Putin and who is already on a list of British sanctions law for human rights reasons anyway.
- Igor Krasnov is the Attorney General
- Viktor Zolotov, head of the Russian National Guard,
- Alexander Kalashnikov, head of the federal prison service.
Incidentally, before the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers, one of Alexei NAvalny’s close colleagues wanted to achieve that: 35 Russian oligarchs should be added to the EU sanctions list, that business circles also feel the consequences of Russian policy action, but this has been rejected by EU portfolio leaders, partly because action against oligarchs would be difficult to justify through the human rights side of EU sanctions policy.
Precisely because the content of the EU sanctions became symbolic in the end, ie the Russian economy and the oligarchs will not hurt, the pressure on the ruble has eased: it has strengthened against the dollar from the level of 75 in the afternoon, so Friday night currently shows a “only” minus of 0.4% compared to the closing level.
In the words of Josep Borrell Russia is drifting towards authoritarian regimes and is definitely moving away from Europe. There is no intention on the part of Moscow to pursue a constructive dialogue with the European Union. The ministers noted that Moscow was not interested in improving the link, he said.
According to him, the union rejects the disregard for international obligations towards Russia, including human rights and the rule of law, resists Moscow’s desire to put pressure on the community through the dissemination of disinformation or cyber attacks, and defends its interests. He added that the EU will provide more support in the future to all those who have defended political and civil liberties in Russia. At the same time, it wants to avoid any conflict with its neighbor, which, as stated,
unfortunately he chose hostility.
He said Antony Blinken, the U.S. Secretary of State, joined the council by video conference. They agreed that they need to work effectively to combat the coronavirus epidemic, repair economic and social damage, address the challenges posed by climate change, uphold democratic values, and strengthen transatlantic security.
Regarding the Council’s debate on Iran’s nuclear deal, he said: the union’s priority is for Iran to return to full compliance with its obligations under the nuclear deal, and it is also looking at how it can promote the lifting of U.S. sanctions. This is the only way to maintain global security.
He reaffirmed that the EU is working to convene an informal meeting with the signatory states to the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran, including the United States.
Cover image source: Thierry Monasse / Getty Images
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