EU sanctions on Belarus hampered by Russia-influenced member states, says justice campaigner

European Council President Charles Michel, center, speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
European Council President Charles Michel, center, speaks during a media conference at an EU summit in Brussels, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Copyright John Thys/AP
By Euronews
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EU policy-making is requires all 27 member states to agree on every name, every person who's going to be sanctioned. 'That's where you run into trouble,' says Magnitsky campaigner Bill Browder.

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Bill Browder is the head of the Global Magnitsky Justice campaign, which calls for international sanctions against human rights abuses. It's named after his friend and lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died while being detained in a Moscow prison.

Speaking to Good Morning Europe, Browder said that, when it comes to the new round of EU sanctions against Belarus, the devil is in the detail:

"The announcement in principle is of course exactly what should be done. They should be punishing sanctions against people who are supporting the Lukashenko regime - so I agree with that completely.

"But what I've seen of EU policy-making is that it requires all 27 member states to agree on every name, every person who's going to be sanctioned. And that's where you run into trouble. Because you have a number of EU member states - particularly Hungary, Cyprus, Malta, who are under the influence of [Russian President] Vladimir Putin and as we all know, Lukashenko is not doing this by himself - he's doing this with the support of Vladimir Putin, so Russia could have some influence on the EU's sanction list."

Listen to the full interview with Bill Browder by clicking on the media player above.

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