European Union foreign ministers are expected to approve new sanctions against Russia on Monday for the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and the violent crackdown on protesters demanding his release.
The move could come a day after the Union’s top diplomat Josep Borrell threatened Moscow with new sanctions for ignoring a decision by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) that Navalny should be released. However, Russian courts have denied the appeal, accusing the body of interfering in its internal judicial affairs.
Calls for stricter sanctions against the Kremlin in Russia expelled In early February, three European diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden took part in illegal rallies in support of Navalny. The move came during Borrell’s visit to Moscow, at a rather embarrassing moment for the bloc’s foreign affairs chief, who came under fire for his passive attitude towards Moscow.
The foreign ministers of the 27-nation bloc meet in Brussels for talks, which also include a video conference with the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Before the meeting, Heiko Maas, Germany’s FM, said that he would be instructed to draw up a list of Russian persons to be sanctioned.
“I am to be ordered to prepare sanctions – list of people. At the same time, however, we have to look for ways to maintain a dialogue with Moscow, ”Maas told reporters.