Brussels (dpa) – The EU has initiated new sanctions against Russia because of the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. At a meeting in Brussels on Monday, the foreign ministers of the member states agreed to begin the necessary preparations. “I am confident that this will now go through very quickly,” said German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas following the consultations. EU top diplomat Josep Borrell said he hoped for an official decision within a week.
According to Maas and Borrell, a new EU sanctions instrument created last year will be used for the first time to impose the punitive measures. This allows the assets in the EU of actors who commit or profit from serious human rights violations to be frozen. Among other things, EU entry bans will also be imposed.
“We already made it clear when Navalny was poisoned that we are not prepared to accept the violation of international law and have imposed sanctions,” explained Maas. The new sanctions now are also intended to signal that the EU does not accept certain things without taking action.