Presseschau: „EU Magnitsky Act“ ?

21. November 2018


Is the EU kowtowing to the Kremlin on Magnitsky sanctions?

„Bill Browder lists a handful of events he believes should amount to more than enough reasons for the European Union to crack down on Kremlin abuse of human rights: the Skripal case, the downing of MH17, Oleg Sentsov’s imprisonment, the annexation of Crimea. „To get anything to happen in the EU,“ Browder said drily, „requires power and leverage and force and shame.“ Browder is personally trying to provide, at the very least, the shame.

Browder’s Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was beaten to death in 2009 in a Moscow prison where he was incarcerated while investigating authorities‘ involvement in a €202 million ($230 million) tax fraud. By 2012, Browder had shepherded through the Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act in the United States, which blacklisted Russian officials deemed responsible for Magnitsky’s death, applying asset freezes and visa bans. That became the „Global Magnitsky Act“ in 2016, expanding its reach to human-rights offenders worldwide.

But Helmut Scholz, a German member of the European Parliament from the Left party, told DW he doesn’t believe the use of sanctions, through a Magnitsky act or otherwise, is the best way to change Russian behavior. „I do not think much of the fact that the European Union is showing off itself as the ‚democracy teacher‘ towards other countries when we ourselves are not able to adhere to certain principles, values and standards,“ Scholz said…“

The full-text article of Deutsche Well can be found online here.