Moscow/Brussels: – The European Union decided to impose fresh sanctions against Russia over the Alexi Navalny issue. This is the second instance of the European Union imposing sanctions against Russia over the Navalny issue. A strong reaction has emanated from Russia over the decision and the Russian foreign ministry criticised that the European Union has wasted one more opportunity to improve relations. After the European Union, even the United States has warned of imposing sanctions against Russia. As per the indications given by the Biden administration, these sanctions will be announced shortly.
Last year, in August, there had been a life-threatening attempt to poison Alexi Navalny, President Putin’s bitter rival. It was accused that the Russian government was behind the poisoning. Last month, when Navalny landed in Russia, he was rushed to prison. The Navalny supporters started an extensive agitation against the arrest. Along with the main cities in Russia, protests were held in every corner of the country.
But the Russian government took a stern stand against the protests. Action was taken against more than 11,000 protesting Navalny supporters. At the same time, a new case was filed against Navalny and the Russian court sentenced him to prison for eight years. The United States and the European Union have become aggressive over the actions against the protestors and Navalny sentence. The sanctions imposed by the European Union on Monday and the United States’ indications are a part of the same aggression.
Josep Borrell, European Minister for Foreign Affairs, announced the sanctions by saying that the European Union concurred that sanctions have to be imposed against those responsible for the action against Navalny. Russia is tilting towards dictatorship and drifting away from Europe. The Russian regime seems to have chosen a path of severing relations and entering a conflict.’ Borrell said that the Union would be imposing sanctions against four Russian bigwigs and these could include big entrepreneurs close to President Putin.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also justified the sanctions against Russia, saying that Russia has been consistently torturing Navalny. Henceforth, Europe will not remain silent. The German Minister confessed that the Russian relations with Europe have deteriorated. The European Union officials indicated that the sanctions imposed by the European Union would include freezing property and visa ban. Before this, in October, the European Union had imposed sanctions against Russia over the poisoning of Navalny.
Russia has reacted very sharply against the decision of the European Union to impose sanctions. Russian foreign ministry fired a salvo of criticism in vitriolic words “The European Union has wasted one more opportunity to improve relations. Imposing sanctions and exerting pressure will remain the basis of the European Union’s policy regarding Russia. Europe has once again pressed the non-functional button of sanctions against Russia. The Union’s action is not logical and politically motivated and has no connection with human rights. This action by the Union is unacceptable and illegal and amounts to interference in the internal matters of a sovereign country.” Russia dismissed the clear demand for the release of Navalny.