Sanctions against Russia as a political method of the European Union

The European Union intends to apply for the first time the legislative provision inspired by American law, which allows violations of human rights to be targeted without any geographical limitation. The recipient of the assessments resulting from the application of the legislation will be Russia, which will be hit by a regime of sanctions precisely because of the violation of human rights due to the activity of the Moscow government. Brussels’ response is intended to be a reaction to the Kremlin’s provocations regarding the repressions of the protests that took place in Russian squares and the treatment recently reserved to the European High Representative during his visit to the Russian capital. If the contingent facts, which provoked the European reaction are those mentioned above, also the European desire to define the next relations with the Russian country has contributed with a significant weight, on the reasons that have provoked the determination of the Union to issue sanctions against Moscow. What is underway between the European Union and Russia is certainly not a peaceful confrontation, determined by Moscow’s refusal to respect the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights, both in a general and a particular sense, especially if it refers to the treatment reserved in a blatant way. to the most famous dissidents; however the measures that will be adopted will be very limited and will affect a limited number of senior officials of the Russian country, without touching the highest state offices. Obviously, it is more of a political act than a truly sanctioning one, a sort of signal towards the next behavior of Moscow, a direct warning against the Kremlin but also to demonstrate the support for the American policy of the new president, which has made central its policy is the struggle in defense of human rights, which must be understood not only on a general level, but also as an instrument of political pressure against the main adversaries: Russi a, in fact, and China. A greater evaluation of the European measure will, however, be better evaluated when the representatives of the twenty-seven countries will issue the detailed list of officials who will be affected by the sanctions. European countries are aware of the need not to irreparably compromise relations with Moscow, since the continuation of dialogue on issues such as climate change and the nuclear deal with Iran remain central issues in their respective political agendas; furthermore, the geographical proximity still requires greater caution in the respective relations; hence the need for conduct as uniform as possible among the twenty-seven European states, to avoid divisions, which could constitute opportunities to exploit, not only for Russia, but also for other possible adversary countries. These factors help to understand the choice of a soft approach on a theme that has nevertheless become central to European politics, but whose application must be weighed in relation to contingent situations and especially, in this phase, the need must prevail. maintaining diplomatic contacts, precisely as a fundamental tool for resolving disputes. It appears evident that the present difficulties are obstacles to these processes, among which the first of all is the substantial interference in the internal affairs of the Russian state, however in the international model, which is emerging with increasing force, the need for respect for human rights has assumed an ever greater importance, which goes beyond its own particular importance to invest much broader issues, such as respect for political and ethnic minorities, up to becoming a factor of commercial and industrial equalization in an increasingly globalized world. The Chinese example, which advocates a commercial globalism, with all the advantages of the case, cannot be separated from respect for rights, also understood as a factor capable of avoiding the distortions of production pursued without respect for workers, both in rights and in the protections, and in the adequate wages, which can alter the forms of competition, through the lowering of the cost of labor achieved both with an instrumental use of the non-respect of rights, understood both as a political means and as a production tool. The two dimensions are not unrelated and often intrinsically added together and for this reason the Union must use the favorable political moment of the presence of a US president particularly sensitive to the subject, to become a protagonist in the defense of rights.