Petrov: Russia would denounce the EU sanctions as a Western attack on its "glory"

PONARS Eurasia
25 Feb 2021

(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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