Serbian ambassador to Moscow says EU sanctions against Russia over Navalny are counterproductive

The diplomat said the sanctions were “psychological manipulation”

The EU plans to impose sanctions against Russia over the situation around Alexei Navalny are counterproductive. Serbian Ambassador to Russia Miroslav Lazanski said this on Wednesday in a live broadcast on Serbian national television.

“Navalny’s trial was transparent. But the fact that Brussels is trying to influence Moscow, the Kremlin, with sanctions is just a lack of politics, because sanctions are not politics, it is the absence of politics. I think these sanctions are in some ways folkloric, political sanctions, because [Russian Foreign Minister Sergei] Lavrov was very clear: if the EU sanctions threaten Russia’s interests, Moscow will end all relations with the EU. It is a fact that EU-Russia relations are at their lowest level for the last 25 years, but I am afraid this position of Brussels is not productive”, –  the Serbian diplomat said.

“The Navalny situation is being exploited and politicised in the West, which is quite absurd. If there is a good mechanism for the protection of human rights in the West, does it mean that anyone from the West has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of any country in the world?” – Miroslav Lazanski wondered. According to him, “since the late 1980s, human rights have been a tool with which [the West] has tried to exert influence in socialist countries.”

“The Navalny situation is purely an internal matter of the Russian Federation, and it looks rather strange when certain individuals from the West insist on their involvement in this trial”, –  he stressed.

The Serbian ambassador spoke ironically about the sanctions imposed by Brussels, saying they were more about “psychological manipulation”.

“We are talking about a curious situation, the EU says that the accounts of six Russians in the West will be frozen. <…> no high- and middle-ranking Russian functionary can have accounts in Western banks, but the Brussels minds who are doing this are also going for the effect they hope to achieve in Russian society”, –  the ambassador said.

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