The regulation on the new sanctions against Russia due to the situation with oppositionist Alexei Navalny might be adopted in the EU not later than in a week as the European Union External Action (EEAS) reported citing High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell.
“In response to events around the situation of Mr [Alexei] Navalny, we reached a political agreement to impose restrictive measures against those responsible for his arrest, sentencing, and persecution. In doing that, for the first time ever, we will make use of the European Union Global Human Rights [Sanctions] Regime to this end. These sanctions will be put in the pipeline of our administrative process today under a proposal of the High Representative,” Borrell stated.
According to him, the EU will provide particular offers on the agreement of the member-states; they will aim for the administrative procedure and approved by the Council in the written form. It will take no more than a week.
Borrell noted that the EU countries also agreed to provide more support to everyone who deals with the protection of the political and civilian freedoms in Russia.
Moreover, the High Representative also reported that the foreign ministers of the EU made a decision to treat Russia as the neighbor who acts as the opponent. The Europeans should develop the principles of how to avoid the constant confrontation with such a neighbor.
As we reported, Austria's top diplomat said EU foreign ministers would back sanctioning Russia over the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
As we reported earlier, Navalny returned to Russia on January 17. Officers of the search department of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia detained him right after his plane landed in Moscow.
It is worth noting that he has been on the country's federal wanted list since December 29, 2020, for repeated violations of the probationary period - Navalny is currently sentenced to conditional punishment.
Prior to that, the politician stayed in Germany, being treated at the Charite clinic and recovering from the poisoning by Novichok nerve agent in August 2020. The Russian law enforcers prosecute Navalny for "evading control measures", as he is the defendant in the Yves-Rocher case (2014). Navalny himself calls the case trumped-up and politically motivated.
On February 2, the Moscow court sentenced Alexei Navalny to 3,5 years of imprisonment in the standard-regime penal colony. Thus, the suspended sentence in the "Yves Rocher" case became the jail time for the leading Russian opposition figure.