The European Parliament is now demanding that EU Member States impose much stricter sanctions against Russia, according to an announcement published by the Parliament.
The new call for action is in response to the recent arrest of Alexei Navalny, a Russian politician and opposition leader against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a vote to decide whether or not to push Member States to impose further sanctions, 581 Members of Parliament voted in favor, 50 against, and 44 abstentions.
As a result of the passed vote, the Parliament is now calling on all Member States to take action against Russia, especially the “individuals and legal entities” involved in the decision to arrest and imprison Navalny.
Sanctions will also be put in place against Russian oligarchs, according to the announcement.
“Sanctions should also be imposed against Russian oligarchs linked to the regime, members of President Putin’s inner circle and Russian media propagandists, who possess assets in the EU and can currently travel there,” the announcement reads.
According to the announcement additional restrictive measures could also be taken under the new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime.
In addition, Parliament is also calling for the immediate halt of construction of the NordStream 2 Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline running underwater in the Baltic Sea directly to Germany.
“Following years of deteriorating relations, MEPs stress the importance of critically reviewing cooperation with Russia in various foreign policy platforms and on projects such as Nord Stream 2. They call on the EU to immediately stop the completion of the controversial pipeline,” the announcement reads.
In addition, MEPs are also highly motivated to end the EU’s welcoming nature to Russian wealth from unclear origin. This could mean investments, bank accounts, and businesses that are owned by Russian oligarchs and used to store and grow their shady wealth in the EU.
“MEPs also underline that the EU should no longer be a welcoming place for Russian wealth of unclear origin,” the announcement reads.
With the inauguration of US President Joe Biden on 20 January 2021, the EU is hoping for improved transatlantic relations and a new partnership with new US leadership against Russia.
“With a view to the new administration in Washington, Parliament stresses that the EU should use this momentum to strengthen transatlantic unity in protecting democracy and fundamental values against authoritarian regimes,” the announcement reads.
The Parliamentary resolution finally demands the immediate release of Alexei Navalny and other political prisoners and prisoners wrongfully detained in Russia.
Russian leadership has yet to publicly respond.