BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) – After the arrest and conviction of the Russian opposition leader Alexej Navalny, the European Parliament has called for further sanctions against Russia. The persons and organs responsible for the poisoning, arrest and conviction of Nawalny should be sanctioned, the MEPs demanded in a resolution passed on Thursday. Russian oligarchs and their families are also said to be subject to the punitive measures. “The European Union should no longer be a place that welcomes Russian wealth of unclear origins,” the document said.
Parliament also asked the international community to redefine its relationship with Russia. The focus should be on democratic values, the rule of law, and fundamental and human rights. Cooperation would have to be questioned critically, including the Nord Stream 2 project. The MPs spoke out in favor of an immediate halt to the natural gas project.
In the plenary debate on Tuesday, EU foreign affairs representative Josep Borrell pointed out that sanctions were the responsibility of the Council of Member States. If they so wished, one would also react with restrictive measures. Borrell had stressed that the EU’s relationship with Russia could not be reduced to the poisoning of Navalny. You have to keep communication channels open.
Several EU state representatives had described further sanctions as realistic means. Last year, as a result of Navalny’s poisoning with the warfare agent Novichok in August, the EU had entry and property bans against people suspected of being responsible for the Russian president Wladimir Putin imposed.
Navalny returned to Russia at the weekend after receiving medical treatment in Germany and was immediately arrested. In an urgent procedure, he was sentenced to 30 days’ imprisonment for violating probation conditions./rbo/DP/nas