During a plenary session of the European Parliament on Tuesday, September 15, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, put forward the idea of naming a global human rights sanctions regime after Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.
“I hope that what has happened to Mr Navalny will represent an encouragement for [EU] Member States to stop discussing and start acting and approving this human rights sanctions regime that, in the same way that the Americans call it the ‘Magnitsky Act,’ we could call it the ‘Navalny sanctions regime’,” Borrell said.
The European Union has been involved in negotiations for a global human rights sanctions mechanism since December 2019. According to Borrell, “the legal acts are currently being drafted.”
Opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny was on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow when he fell violently ill on August 20. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, where he was hospitalized in a coma; two days later he was transferred to Germany for treatment. On September 2, the German officials confirmed that Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents. Navalny’s condition continues to improve: he was brought out of his induced coma on September 7 and successfully taken off of a ventilator on September 14.
The European Parliament continues to officially call on the Russian authorities to conduct a full and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Alexey Navalny’s poisoning.