BBC Newsnight: Vladimir Putin’s operations could be undermined by EU hard stance | World | News

Last week, the Biden administration issued hard sanctions against Russia in an ongoing “tit-for-tat” political battle that has seen diplomats expelled from both nations. Speaking on BBC newsnight, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, founder of the Open Russia Movement claimed the EU has not done enough compared to the US.

When asked whether he thought the EU and the US were impotent, Mr Khodorkovsky said there was a “dearth of strong leadership in the West.”

He added: “But recent actions of the Biden administration show that there is finally some understanding of what should be done.

“Recent decisions of his administration to freeze assets not just of the people who take part in operations directly against the United States, but also those who fight the free press, who violate human rights, who take part in corruption.

“All this together will have the biggest impact on Putin’s agents who he constantly tries to plant in the systems of Western countries.

“If the EU were to take similar actions, Putin’s operations would be seriously undermined.”

EU member states have been keen to keep Russia in their good books as Europe’s scramble for vaccines continues.

Although the Russian Sputnik vaccine has yet to be approved by the European Medicines Agency, EU states have been busy striking their own deals with Moscow.

This week, German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, claimed she would begin talks to secure supplies of the Sputnik V vaccine.

READ MORE: Putin issues warning to the West for ‘picking on Russia’

Earlier this year, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was engaged in a political battle with Putin over vaccines, condemning Russia’s decision to strike deals for millions of vaccine doses while not “sufficiently progressing in vaccinating their own people.”

Russian Permanent Mission slammed Ms von der Leyen’s comment, claiming the “unsubstantiated and indeed, deplorable way,” in which the EU had tried to politicise the issue.

Mr Khodorkovsky’s comments against the EU comes as Putin addressed the nation yesterday where he issued a warning that any enemy nation that crosses the “red line” will “regret their actions.”

Moscow’s actions have perplexed experts as war fears against Ukraine continue to mount.

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Mr Khodorkovsky added: “I have watched with interest this particular remark in his address because it looked like some veiled threat.

“Judging by what we already know about the operation of different secret services, what we know about the operations of people closest to Putin on the soil of Western countries, we could interpret this as a threat of future assassinations and future attempts to destabilise the situation in the West.”

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