Motion for a resolution - B7-0196/2012Motion for a resolution

PROPOSAL FOR A RECOMMENDATION TO THE COUNCIL on establishing common visa restrictions for Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case


pursuant to Rule 121(1) of the Rules of Procedure

Guy Verhofstadt, Kristiina Ojuland on behalf of the ALDE Group


European Parliament recommendation to the Council on establishing common visa restrictions for Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 215 of the TFEU,

–   having regard to the European Parliament recommendation to the Council on a consistent policy on restrictive measures, adopted on 2 February 2012[1],

–   having regard to the decision by the United States to impose travel restrictions on 60 officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case and to similar considerations in a number of other countries,

–   having regard to Rule 121(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the arrest and subsequent death in custody of Sergei Magnitsky represents a well documented and substantial case of disrespect for fundamental human rights in Russia, and serves as a chilling reminder of the many documented shortcomings in the respect shown for human rights and fundamental freedoms in Russia;

B.  whereas Russia, as a member of the Council of Europe, has committed itself to fully respecting fundamental rights and the rule of law, and whereas the European Union has repeatedly offered additional assistance and expertise to help Russia modernise, and abide by, its constitutional and legal order, in line with Council of Europe standards;

C. whereas there is an increasing need for a firm, robust and comprehensive EU policy towards Russia, offering support and assistance backed up by firm and fair criticism, including sanctions and restrictive measures when needed;

D. whereas 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;

1.  Addresses the following recommendations to the Council:

(a) to establish a common EU list of officials responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, for the subsequent judicial cover-up and for the ongoing and sustained harassment of his mother and widow;

(b) 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;

(c) to call on Russia to conduct a credible and independent investigation encompassing all aspects of this tragic case;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this recommendation to the Council and, for information, to the Commission, the Member States, and the State Duma and Government of Russia.