19:59 GMT19 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Despite the new US administration increasingly pressing Europe into following its foreign policy guidelines, Brussels has shown restraint in its fresh sanctions on Russia over vlogger Alexey Navalny, Waldemar Herdt, a member of the Bundestag committee on foreign affairs from the AfD party, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, the EU unveiled first sanctions under its new global human rights sanctions regime, designating four Russian officials over their roles in Navalny’s arrest.

    In a show of unity hours later, the US imposed sanctions on seven senior Russian officials, as well as 14 entities involved in biological and chemical agents production in Russia, Germany, and Switzerland. The move became the first US punitive action against Moscow since President Joe Biden took office and launched a comprehensive review of its policy towards Russia.

    "There is nothing new or unpredictable about the new US and EU sanctions against Russia. The ‘Navalny project’ from the beginning was designed for enlargement and deepening of these sanctions. Many experts believe that the EU reaction was very restrained; it imposed only limited sanctions against several persons and did not fully follow the scenario outlined by the United States and its new leadership," Herdt said.

    According to the lawmaker, escalating tensions between the EU and Russia is a "very dangerous trend," and "one should not be talking to Russia from the position of strength."

    The Biden administration, however, has stepped up pressure on the EU and Germany in terms of escalating the situation, he said.

    "There is a ‘party of war"’ in power in the US, this can be seen very clearly from what we have seen in Syria now, from the deployment of the US bombers to Norway. All these things and what’s going on in Ukraine now, all this is one and the same scenario of the party of war preparing this war," Herdt stated.

    All the powers who want to withstand this trend "must mobilize and build a strategy against it," he concluded.

    Russia is already preparing reciprocal measures it will introduce in response to the new US sanctions, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday. Moscow previously said that it considers the sanctions as interference in the country's internal affairs, as all the accusations related to Navalny's case are absurd.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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