Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s comments in response to the EU imposing another round of unilateral restrictive measures on Russian citizens and organisations

Submitted on Wed, 12/15/2021 - 10:22

The EU continues to impose unilateral restrictions, which is illegitimate from the point of view of international law. More sanctions were imposed on eight Russian citizens and four organisations falsely accused of involvement in a private military company.

The ensuing hysteria in the West speaks primarily to the jealousy of a number of former European metropoles towards African and Middle Eastern states, whose sovereignty and independence they were obviously forced to recognise at some point. In fact, however, the right of these states to choose services provided by private companies on a commercial basis, including security services, weighs heavily upon their European partners and fuels their post-imperial ambitions.

Notably, private military companies are not controlled by official Russian authorities. Independent states individually assess their own security capabilities and have every reason to interact with external partners as they see it. It turns out that by imposing illegal restrictions, the EU is questioning the UN member states’ sovereign right to pursue an independent domestic and foreign policy which comes as direct violation of the fundamental norms of international law.

Notably, the list of the countries, in which EU officials spotted signs of activity of private military companies allegedly affiliated with Russia, includes Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. These countries listed in the decisions of the EU Council have one thing in common, which is that the “export” of Western democracy destabilised them and created conditions for the “import” of lasting problems into the EU itself in the form of illegal migration, a surge in terrorism, organised crime and drug trafficking. However, instead of openly admitting its own foreign policy setbacks in the adjacent regions, which Brussels hoped to turn into a “circle of friends,” and working on these problems, the EU is, as it always does, using its favourite tool which is sanctions on Russia.

The double standards inherent in EU foreign policy also make themselves felt in how easy the EU is on private Western military companies, which have entangled entire regions of the globe, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, with their networks, at a time when many of them are implicated in gross violations of international humanitarian law. Just take the notorious US company Blackwater which was involved in the mass shooting of civilians on Nisour Square in Baghdad in 2007. However, the EU prefers to turn a blind eye to the blood-stained military mercenaries sponsored by their overseas allies.

We call on the EU to stop its attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign UN member states, start building interaction with all members of the international community on the basis of equality and mutual respect and, finally, to stop imposing unilateral restrictive measures outside the framework of international law.

Russia reserves the right to respond to unfriendly EU moves.