Question for oral answer to the Commission Rule 115 Guy Verhofstadt, Kristiina Ojuland, Marietje Schaake, Alexander Graf Lambsdorff, on behalf of the ALDE Group
Subject: Visa ban for Russian officials - follow-up to EP recommendation
On 23 October 2012 Parliament adopted a recommendation to the Council on establishing common visa restrictions for Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case and freezing their assets.
The broad parliamentary support for this recommendation reflects the widespread indignation, in Russia and around the world, over the arrest of Mr Magnitsky, the inhuman conditions of his detention and the serious allegations surrounding his subsequent death in custody.
The continuing posthumous prosecution of Sergei Magnitsky is a further violation of international and Russian law and clearly indicates the malfunctioning of the Russian criminal justice system and the systemic failure of the Russian state to protect its citizens.
Parliament repeated this demand in December 2012 when it adopted the recommendations by Hannes Swoboda on the negotiation of a new EU-Russia agreement, in which Parliament called on the VP/HR to put the issue on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council.
While recognising that visa restrictions and other restrictive measures are not traditional judicial sanctions per se but constitute a political signal of the EU’s concern to a larger target audience and thus remain a necessary and legitimate foreign policy tool, does the VP/HR intend to raise this matter at the Foreign Affairs Council?
Does the VP/HR share the conviction of the need to establish a common EU list of officials responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky and for the subsequent judicial cover-up, to impose and implement an EU-wide visa ban on these officials and to freeze any financial assets they or their immediate family may hold inside the European Union?