May 28, 2024

European Union adopts a new sanctions regime aimed at serious human rights violations in Russia

On May 27, 2024, the Council of the European Union adopted Council Decision (CFSP) 2024/1484 and Council Regulation (EU) 2024/1485 to establish a framework that enables the imposition of sanctions upon those who engage in serious human rights violations or abuses in Russia.  The new sanctions regime was proposed by Josep Borrell, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, in response to the untimely death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny in February 2024.  The new regime enables EU authorities to target those who provide financial, technical or material support to individuals and entities that commit human rights violations in Russia.  It also imposes new trade restrictions on the export of equipment that might be used for internal repression in Russia, and the export of items primarily intended to enable Russian authorities to monitor or intercept telecommunications.

In addition to the creation of the new sanctions regime, the Council designated 20 persons, including the Federal Penitentiary Service of the Russian Federation as well as several judges, prosecutors and members of the Russian judiciary who were instrumental in the sentencing, imprisonment and ultimately the death of Alexei Navalny in a Siberian prison.  The new designees are subject to asset freezes and travel bans in the European Union, and EU operators are prohibited from making funds available to designated persons.

Council of the EU Press Release | Council Decision (CFSP) 2024/1484 | Council Regulation (EU) 2024/1485