EU Cautions Myanmar, Mulls Sanctions On Russia Over Crackdown

The EU on Monday cautioned Myanmar’s military rulers it “stands prepared” to enforce sanctions over their coup, as foreign ministers meeting in Brussels also thought about targeting those behind Russia’s crackdown on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

The top diplomats from the 27-nation bloc dealt with a complete program for talks that will likewise include a comprehensive videoconference with new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Russia’s treatment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny will be high up on the program when the EU foreign ministers satisfy AFP/ Kirill KUDRYAVTSEV

Quickly into the meeting, the ministers provided a declaration on Myanmar, stating “the EU stands prepared to adopt limiting measures targeting those straight accountable for the military coup and their economic interests”.

They required “a de-escalation of the existing crisis” triggered by the February 1 coup by Myanmar’s military and required the toppled civilian federal government be restored.

While they took a last-chance position on Myanmar, there were expectations they would shoot on sanctions against Russian authorities over imprisoned opposition leader Navalny and repression of his advocates.

New US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will sign up with the EU foreign ministers via videoconference POOL/ CARLOS BARRIA

Any such move would come two weeks after EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell was captured in a diplomatic ambush in Moscow that infuriated member states.

Capitals are considering using the EU’s new human rights sanctions routine for the first time to hit individuals accountable for the Russian clampdown with possession freezes and visa restrictions, diplomats stated.

Borrell required a “united and determined” reaction from the bloc as he showed up for the meeting.

During EU diplomacy chief Josep Borrell’s visit to Moscow, Russia announced the expulsion of three European diplomats RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY/ Handout

” It’s clear that Russia is on a confrontational course with the European Union,” he stated.

Protesters outside the US Embassy in Yangon on Sunday AFP/ Sai Aung Main

Diplomats said they anticipate a political arrangement to be reached on punishing authorities– with the list of names to be worked out in the coming days.

” There is a large bulk supporting the adoption of brand-new sanctions,” Romania’s Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu said.

Two of Navalny’s closest associates required the targeting of Putin’s closest allies at a conference with 8 EU foreign ministers in Brussels Sunday.

The ministers required “a de-escalation of the present crisis” set off by the coup by Myanmar’s military AFP/ STR

However European diplomats state just those directly implicated in the clampdown can be targeted because the list needs to hold up against any court challenge.

The state of mind towards Moscow has actually solidified in the wake of Borrell’s disastrous trip to Russia, throughout which Moscow announced the expulsion of 3 European diplomats and rebuffed talk of cooperation.

The EU has currently struck Russia with waves of sanctions over the 2014 annexation of Crimea and Moscow’s fuelling of the war in Ukraine.

The bloc in October slapped 6 officials on a blacklist over the poisoning of Navalny with Novichok, a nerve representative.

President Vladimir Putin’s most popular domestic critic was this month imprisoned for nearly 3 years after returning to Russia following treatment in Germany.

His sentencing triggered nationwide protests that saw baton-wielding security forces detain thousands.

In addition, the authorities stated ministers were expected to place some 30 members of Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s regime on a blacklist.

The listings would target those associated with December elections the EU refused to identify and more comprehensive human rights abuses, the official said.

The continuous repression in Belarus is set to feature as the EU weighs whether it requires to introduce a fourth round of sanctions versus President Alexander Lukashenko’s regime.

Ministers are likewise set to go over China’s crackdown on Hong Kong and see if the EU needs to beef up its response as Beijing tightens it grip.

The focus will pivot to cooperation when America’s leading diplomat Blinken signs up with for his very first full talks with the bloc, with all sides wanting to put the stress of the Trump age behind them.

The conversation looks likely to range from a joint technique to typical adversaries like Russia and China to the pressing problem of trying to bring the United States back into the Iran offer.

The EU is presently seeking to broker a meeting between Washington, Tehran and other signatories– consisting of Moscow– to attempt to exercise how to salvage the accord after Trump quit it in 2018.

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