(EU Observer) Four Russians are about to join an EU list of the world’s worst human rights abusers, but who are they? EU states’ ambassadors, on Wednesday (24 February), signed off a political deal to blacklist individuals linked to the jailing of Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny. They intend to impose visa-bans and asset-freezes on four officials – Alexander Bastrykin, Alexander Kalashnikov, Igor Krasnov, and Victor Zolotov – according to a leak to the Reuters news agency. […]
And for Nikolai Petrov, a Kremlinologist at British think-tank Chatham House, the truth lay somewhere in between.
“All of them [the four Russians to be listed] are close to Putin and play very important roles,” Petrov told EUobserver.
But the EU sanctions remained “symbolic” and were designed “to be rather comfortable for both sides … they will be taken by the Kremlin as a sign that it’s business as usual in terms of cooperation with the European Union,” Petrov said. […]
And Petrov predicted Russia would denounce the EU sanctions as a Western attack on its “glory”, while the four Russian officials would wear them as a badge of loyalty.
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