EU agrees Navalny sanctions - a success?

EU foreign ministers have agreed in principle on sanctions against Russia for the poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Now the concrete preparations are beginning, i.e. the compilation of names and individual measures. An agreement was also reached on sanctions against Lukashenka. Reactions to the news vary.

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Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Sanctions must hit beneficiaries of the system

The sanctions against Russia don't go far enough, the Süddeutsche Zeitung says:

“Sanctions against secret service agents and those responsible for Russian chemical weapons no doubt point in the right direction. But if they only target a few, they won't have much of an impact. They could even be counterproductive if Putin sees them for what they are: half-hearted. That said, there is a suitable tool at our disposal. As a rule, those who benefit from the Putin system are not ideologues. They love to enjoy the fruits of their wealth - also in the West. Measures that target these people also target Putin.”

La Repubblica (IT) /

Never has the EU displayed such force

Europe has awakened, columnist Paolo Garimberti comments jubilantly in La Repubblica:

“The speed with which the proposal has moved from the ambassadors' table to that of the foreign ministers and will now go to the European Council on Thursday is an unusual sign of unity. It is unprecedented, not seen even in the darkest moments, starting with the now distant Balkan wars, when Europe moved in a loose line, always behind the United States. And all the more so if, as some sources suggest, the next series of sanctions for Belarus directly affects the dictator Lukashenka. Putin would then be faced with a completely different level of challenges, and this would truly require a political force the European Commission has never had before.”