Sir Graham Watson MEP: EU must not sit back while Russia flouts international law

Sir Graham Watson MEPToday the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs committee voted in favour of imposing visa restrictions on Russian officials involved in the Magnitsky affair in 2009. There has been continued speculation over the death in prison of the late lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

After independent investigations it was found that Mr Magnitsky was subject to inhumane conditions, deliberate neglect and torture. The list of names MEPs have asked to be placed on a sanction list will now be passed on to the Council and the Commission.

These proposed sanctions come as Russia continues to have a military presence within the sovereign nation of Ukraine and shows no sign of retreating.

Liberal Democrat MEP, Sir Graham Watson who sits on the Foreign Affairs committee said:

“I very much welcome the outcome of the vote in the Committee this morning. Despite numerous calls by the European Parliament, no action has been taken. It is time for our concerns to be taken on board by the Council.”

“I therefore urge European leaders to place restrictions on the list of those people we believe to be responsible for the mistreatment of Mr Magnitsky.”

He added:

“Today’s annexation of the Crimea by Russia under the false pretence of truly democratic mandate is nothing short of imperialism by the Putin government.

“The EU must continue to use targeted sanctions to put pressure on Russia for as long as it continues to flout international law.

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