EU mulls to impose sanctions on Russia, Myanmar
BRUSSELS, Feb 22: The EU on Monday warned Myanmar's military rulers it "stands ready" to impose sanctions over their coup, as foreign ministers meeting in Brussels also considered targeting those behind Russia's crackdown on Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
The top diplomats from the 27-nation bloc faced a full agenda for talks that will also include a wide-ranging videoconference with new US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Shortly into the meeting, the ministers issued a statement on Myanmar, saying "the EU stands ready to adopt restrictive measures targeting those directly responsible for the military coup and their economic interests".
They called for "a de-escalation of the current crisis" triggered by the February 1 coup by Myanmar's military and demanded the overthrown civilian government be restored.
While they took a last-chance stance on Myanmar, there were expectations they would pull the trigger on sanctions against Russian officials over imprisoned opposition leader Navalny and repression of his supporters.
Any such move would come two weeks after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell was caught in a diplomatic ambush in Moscow that enraged member states. Capitals are eyeing using the EU's new human rights sanctions regime for the first time to hit individuals responsible for the Russian clampdown with asset freezes and visa bans, diplomats said. -AFP