Navalny, the European Union, to test Biden. What he decided (wasn’t) about Russia

The foreign ministers of the 27 countries decided to impose sanctions on Russia in the Navalny case, and then they met with US Secretary of State Blinken. But distances remain on relations with Moscow and Beijing. Here is any of them

The start of the trial that will lead to sanctions against Russia in a case Alexey Navalny. Work on possible new measures against China regarding the Hong Kong issue. Optimism to resume negotiations on the nuclear deal with Iran. Political agreement to impose sanctions on those responsible for the coup in Myanmar. On the table is a fourth package of sanctions against Belarus before Alexander Lukashenko.

Having the US Secretary of State in touch from Washington was enough Anthony Blink The European Union will send some important signals of rapprochement from the United States at the end of today’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting. But will it be enough?

He explained in a press conference that the confrontation with the head of US diplomacy was the “highlight” of the meeting of the foreign ministers of the 27 member states. Josep BorrellThe Federation’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. It was a “moving” moment within a “intense” summit, which continued to be the first in European foreign policy, which opposed the new transatlantic relationship (starting with the fight against the Coronavirus and climate change) with other measures that were reached, most of them sanctions.

Borrell said the main topic of the press conference was Russia, as “there is a consensus among ministers” that it is “moving towards an authoritarian state and away from Europe.” He added that Moscow is only interested in “confrontation and disengagement” with the European Union, which is still clearly burned due to the diplomatic failure of his recent meeting with his Russian counterpart. Sergey Lavrov Borrell defended his trip, however, explaining that had it not been for it, the European Union would not have reached an agreement on sanctions (selling them as a “sacrifice,” he notes. Shashank Joshi Delleconomic Sue Twitter).

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“We cannot punish the Russian oligarchy just because we do not like them,” Borrell said. “We need to punish anyone who played a role in Navalny’s arrest, conviction, or poisoning.” Because it is “the rule of law” and therefore we must be “able to justify sanctions before the court,” he added, using words that raised suspicions that Brussels – led by Paris and Berlin – does not want to give in to dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In general, 27 countries decided a strategy for Russia based on three lines: push back In case of violations of international law and human rights); Includes Against misinformation and cyber-attacks; Subscribe – engage On issues of common interest. Borrell promised that the European Union would support “those in Russia who defend political and civil liberties.” But he also called us to “define A. Temporary settlement To avoid permanent confrontation with the neighbor who, unfortunately, seems to have decided to act as an adversary. “

Let’s see which of these two indicators will prevail. Above all, if that were enough for the United States Joe BidenWhich is still in sight of the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream 2. In the meantime, the German Foreign Minister Heiko Mas He got his hand saying, “I support the matter of preparing an additional list of sanctions for certain people. At the same time, we must find ways to keep the channels of communication with Moscow open.”

Then Borrell, expected tomorrow at the prestigious Atlantic American Council’s Europe Center, spoke about China. He explained that, unlike Russia, Dragon is ready to deepen relations with the European Union while the two sides discuss human rights (an issue overlapping with the disputed investment agreement signed in late December between Brussels and Beijing). However, he also indicated Sue Twitter Lawrence Norman From Wall Street JournalThe question, “A bit controversial. It can be said that this is due to the fact that China has never shown any sign of taking European pressure into account.

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Even on the transatlantic relationship, and not just about the common “challenges” between Russia and China, Borrell had nice words to Washington’s ears. However, similar to what happened at the Munich Security Conference, the issues that the head of European diplomacy preferred to overlook are the elements of tension between the United States and the European Union.

Also because, as indicated in a comment on The ambassador Sergio VentoThe transatlantic decade is different and well-known, and with regard to the two existential issues (Russia and China), “distances and the continuing unknown will require serious work of study and verification by Berlin and Paris towards Washington on the one hand, and Moscow and Beijing on the other. On the other.”

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