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EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to impose sanctions on all those responsible for the sentencing and imprisonment of Alexei Navalny, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said in Brussels on Monday. The decision came after France, Germany, Poland and the Baltic states demanded that Putin be told that the debate and protest should be allowed even in Russia.
At a press conference following a one-day meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, Josep Borrell emphasized that preparations for restrictive measures against specific individuals had begun. Member States may decide on their specific proposals by written procedure within a period of up to one week. According to AFP, the banned persons may include the head of the Russian investigative authority, the director of the prison, the head of the Russian National Guard and the Attorney General. Although Navalny’s allies have demanded that businessmen close to Putin be banned from the EU, sanctions are likely to be imposed only on officials, making it more legally defensible.
According to 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. With regard to Russia, the EU rejects disregard for international obligations, 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 “regrettably 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 on effective response to the coronavirus epidemic, repairing economic and social damage, addressing the challenges posed by climate change, supporting democratic values, and how they can strengthen transatlantic security.
On the Council’s debate on Iran’s nuclear deal, he said the EU’s priority was for Iran to return to full compliance with its nuclear agreement and to look at how it could help lift US 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.
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