1/7 The new round of sanctions introduced by the EU against Russia over the poisoning of opposition politician Alexei Navalny have three key aspects. My take here carnegie.ru/commentary/829…
2/7They target individual people and organizations, rather than entire sectors of the economy; they don’t follow the suggestion of targeting the subjects of Navalny’s investigations; and they don’t distinguish between the siloviki (security services) hawks and in-system liberals
3/7 The list does not mention the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, although judging by multiple public statements made on the issue, canceling the pipeline project is seen as the most effective punishment bit.ly/3dF8t7m
4/7 A European Parliament resolution last month proposed adopting sanctions against individuals previously targeted by Navalny’s investigations into corruption, but the EU apparently decided against this bit.ly/3dF8t7m
5/7 Kiriyenko’s inclusion on the list could have come about either due to a lack of understanding among EU leaders of Russian domestic reality (which they should be having explained to them by analysts and ambassadors), or as the result of a decision to ignore that reality
6/7 In the latter case, the EU is making it clear that it will not differentiate between in-systems liberals and hawks from siloviki within Russia’s corridors of power if the end result is in any case the brutal use of force bit.ly/3dF8t7m
7/7 It’s not enough to have liberal ideas and reformist intentions and oppose an all-out confrontation with the West; those ideas and intentions must be noticeable in the actions of the Russian state bit.ly/3dF8t7m

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More from @baunov

9 Oct
1/8 Russia is not charging in to help its ally Armenia because it doesn’t just matter who is under attack, but who they are under attack from. My take on Russia's present role in #NagornoKarabakh carnegie.ru/commentary/829…
2/8Unlike other former Soviet republics with frozen conflicts (Georgia, Ukraine, and Moldova), Azerbaijan has not been an enemy state for Russia. Azerbaijan has cooperated with NATO, but it has never voiced any official ambition to join the alliance bit.ly/3jK43OH
3/8 Among the former Soviet states, Azerbaijan has always been an example of how to follow a foreign policy that is entirely independent from Russia, while maintaining a good relationship with Moscow bit.ly/3jK43OH
Read 8 tweets
5 Oct
1/5 Now the old methods are proving less effective in forcing Navalny outside the already narrow Russian political space. My new short piece carnegie.ru/commentary/828…
2/5 It’s his increased visibility and unwitting mythologization brought about by the poisoning that have prompted the accusations that Navalny is a CIA agent parroting a foreign paymaster’s charges against Putin personally bit.ly/3jzeZOX
3/5 Putin, who believes that enemies deserve respect, while traitors do not, doesn’t want to do Navalny the honor of giving him the status of an enemy.
Read 5 tweets
1 Oct
1/7 Among much real and imagined bad news from Russia, this really is awful bit.ly/2SeZaRJ
2/7 Russia’s Investigative Committee has arrested staff & doctors of companies that provided surrogacy services to single men (in reality, some of them in gay couples), is removing children from their families, & threatening to charge the fathers with trafficking children.
3/7 There is ongoing discussion about the moral and legal aspects of surrogacy around the world. But the arguments the Russian authorities are using in this particular case have nothing to do with protecting women or children.
Read 7 tweets
8 Sep
1/6 Lukashenko was quicker that others to offer a conspiracy theory about Navalny’s poisoning that points the finger at the West. bit.ly/2Gzxl3K
2/6 The Belarusian president’s intervention in the Navalny affair ties it to his country’s unrest, even if the demonstrations did not factor into the decision to attack the opposition leader.
3/6 Few will believe the version of events implied by Lukashenko’s purported recording of a phone call between officials in Berlin and Warsaw. But it is meant to provide Russia’s state propaganda with yet another dubious narrative with which to muddy the waters.
Read 6 tweets
3 Sep
1/8 There is a considerable difference between the #Navalny case and previous poisonings where Russia was accused. Alexander Litvinenko & Sergei Skripal were exiles poisoned in a foreign country (the UK) and hardly known to anyone in Russia or abroad before the attacks.
2/8 Navalny is very well known both inside and outside Russia, and was poisoned on Russian soil. The others were figures from the past, he is a figure from the present, if not the future
3/8 Litvinenko & Skripal were former Russian security service members and could be seen by the special services as traitors who should be punished.
Read 8 tweets
1 Sep
THREAD 1/7 By supporting Lukashenko, Putin confirmed that the legitimacy of any foreign regime is calculated not by the transparency of procedures or the popularity of the leader, but by whether or not the previous distance between that country and the West is preserved.
2/7 Putin’s attitude toward the Belarusian regime sheds light on how he sees his own power and its inherent potential for the use of force. bit.ly/3hQSjsH
3/7 Satisfied that Lukashenko was indeed determined enough, and that there was no division, the Kremlin made the decision once and for all to support him. After all, there’s no other visible candidate who would better guarantee the Union State that Russia and Belarus form
Read 7 tweets

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