EU foreign ministers agreed to impose economic sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning and later jailing of Putin opponent Alexei Navalny\
European Union ministers have agreed to take new economic measures against individuals responsible for human rights abuse against dissident Alexei Navalny, as the U.S. administration is preparing sanctions against Russia over the SolarWinds hack attack.
- According to U.S. officials quoted by the Financial Times, the Biden administration is preparing measures “that will go beyond sanctions” against the Russian regime.
- The cyber espionage campaign against the U.S. revealed last year affected nine federal agencies and dozens of companies, and it may have been the work “of at least 1,000 engineers,” the U.S. Senate’s Select Committee on Intelligence heard in testimony on Tuesday.
- U.S. officials have said that the cyber attacks were likely to have been of Russian origin, and Russia has denied any involvement.
- EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to impose economic sanctions on four senior Russian officials close to President Vladimir Putin for the poisoning and later jailing of Putin opponent Alexei Navalny and the crackdown on his allies, using recent powers defined by the so-called Magnitsky Act.
- The measures to be defined in the coming days could include asset freezes and travel bans.
The outlook: Russia is bracing for a change of tone and policy from the U.S. with President Joe Biden in charge in Washington. And it managed to unite the EU, long divided on the opportunity of sanctions, when it humiliated the bloc’s top foreign policy official during his recent Moscow visit.