EU Foreign Chief: Democracy in Russia far away, proposal for sanctions

EU foreign chief Josep Borrell has tried to defend himself in the European Parliament against the criticism of his trip to Russia. According to MEPs, the Spaniard was trump and humiliated in Moscow last week. A petition for his resignation has been signed by dozens of members.

Borrell said hed gone out to see if the Russians were still able to move. Among other things, he wanted to press for the release of opposition leader Aleksey Navalny. Borrell also wanted to pay him a visit, but the Russian Foreign Minister said that he only had to make a request to the court.

Borrell said that sanctions against Russia could be the next step because it seems that a conversation is no longer possible. According to him, Moscow has no interest in normalizing relations with the European Union.

Borrell concludes that the country has taken a worrying, authoritarian path where there is no place for democracy and the rule of law. He also warned that the Russians are looking to divide Europe.

It is up to EU countries to determine whether new sanctions will actually be introduced, said Borrell. EU Foreign Ministers will discuss it on 22 February, and the Heads of State and Government will follow in March.