Europe to Tip Toward U.S.’s Tougher Stance on Russia, China

BRUSSELS—The European Union will impose fresh sanctions on Russian officials over the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny and will move ahead with measures to challenge Beijing over its crackdown in Hong Kong, signaling a shift in the bloc’s position on the two countries toward the U.S.’s.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday evening he will propose a list of Russian officials to be hit with asset freezes and travel bans over the Navalny case. Speaking after a meeting of EU foreign ministers, he said he hopes the list will be approved within a week.

The sanctions will target “those responsible for his arrest, sentencing and persecution,” Mr. Borrell said in a press conference. Two diplomats said they expected the EU to sanction around half a dozen people.

It will be the first use of the EU’s new human-rights sanctions framework, similar to the U.S. Magnitsky Act.

The EU decision came as foreign ministers held a two-hour videoconference with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Discussions touched on a range of subjects from the Biden administration’s goal of working with European allies on challenges from Russia and China to the Iranian nuclear deal.

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