BRUSSELS, July 19 (Itar-Tass) - The European Union will continue watching the situation related to the verdict to anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny and discussing the protection of human rights at meetings with Russian officials, spokesperson to the EU foreign policy chief Maja Kocijancic said.
At the same time, Kocijancic said the EU was not planning to impose sanctions against Russia.
Speaking at a news briefing on Friday, the spokesperson said, “We’ll continue to watch the situation.”
She stressed that the EU lauded the change of measure of restraint to Navalny and Pyotr Ofitserov. However, all previous episodes “arouse our concern”, Kocijancic said.
Answering a question if sanctions are imposed against Russia, she said the EU regularly raised this question at all meetings and intended to be committed to this policy in the future.
Kocijancic confirmed that these events could have a negative impact on relations between the EU and Russia.
This is also related to the Magnitsky case that the EU intends to discuss with the Russian partners, she stressed.
On July 18, Navalny was sentenced to five years in prison for masterminding a property embezzlement scheme at the Kirovles enterprise. The second defendant, former director of the limited liability company Vyatka Forest Company Pyotr Ofitserov was sentenced to four years in prison.
Earlier in the day, the Court of the Kirov region mitigated the measure of restraint for Navalny and authorized his release from custody on written recognizance not to leave before a sentence issued to him by the court of a lower jurisdiction takes legal effect.