EU - Russia
Date de l'événement: 22/04/2021
EU-Russia relations have become increasingly strained over the past decade, not least because of the country's 2014 annexation of Crimea, the Kremlin’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine or Russia’s military intervention in Syria. Another source of tension is Russia’s disinformation campaigns and cyber-attacks, as well as attempts to interfere in Western democratic processes or arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Since the annexation of Crimea in 2014, EU economic sanctions target Russia’s financial, defence and energy sectors. Russia has responded with counter-sanctions.
The European Parliament reacted during April plenary session on Russian military build-up on Ukraine border and revelations of Russian agents behind explosion in Czech Republic. In a resolution, MEPs confirmed how deeply worried they were about Russian military posturing close to the country’s border with Ukraine as well as in illegally occupied Crimea. The resolution also deplored the revelation that the Russian intelligence services set off the explosion of an arms depot in Vrbětice, Czechia, in 2014, in which two Czech citizens were killed. Parliament also reiterated its call for the immediate and unconditional release of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. MEPs expressed their deep solidarity with the people and authorities of Czechia, as well as their firm support for the country in the ensuing diplomatic row with Russia and the tit-for-tat expulsion of embassy staff by both countries. On 30 April Russia barred eight officials from European Union countries from entering the country in retaliation for sanctions imposed on Russian citizens by the EU. Russia's foreign ministry said those banned included Vera Jourova, vice president for values and transparency at the executive European Commission or David Sassoli, the President of the European Parliament. Presidents of the European Council, Commission and Parliament condemned in a joint statement the imposition of restrictive measures by Russia as unacceptable and groundless, targeting the EU, not only the individuals concerned.