11 Mar 2021
How can the EU strive to maintain an open dialogue with Russia while upholding its values?
With the EU foreign ministers’ decision on 22 February to apply sanctions to Russian individuals involved in the Navalny assassination attempt/poisoning case, EU-Russia relations have grown a degree cooler.
Following on from the heavily criticised visit of HR/VP Josep Borrell to Moscow in February, this new line shows a more coordinated EU response. These sanctions will also be the first time that the Magnitsky Act, approved by MEPs at the end of 2020, has been invoked to counter human rights violations. Whilst the details of the sanctions remain to be confirmed, it seems likely 4 individuals will be subject to travel bans and asset freezes.
In parallel, discussions surrounding the NordStream 2 pipeline are brewing further, again highlighting the tension between energy security and fighting for human rights and democratic principles in Russia.
How can the EU strive to maintain an open dialogue with Russia while upholding its values? How far should the EU go in this new round of sanctions and what might the Magnitsky mechanism mean for future EU-Russia relations?
Petras Autrevicius, MEP, Renew Europe Group
Alice Stollmeyer, Executive Director, Defend Democracy
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