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The role of sanctions as a protective measure for human rights and democracy

Motion for a resolution | Doc. 15812 | 23 June 2023

Ms Yelyzaveta YASKO, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Boriana ÅBERG, Sweden, EPP/CD ; Mr Bertrand BOUYX, France, ALDE ; Mr Iulian BULAI, Romania, ALDE ; Mr Gerardo GIOVAGNOLI, San Marino, SOC ; Ms Blerina GJYLAMETI, Albania, SOC ; Mr John HOWELL, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Ms Zanda KALNIŅA-LUKAŠEVICA, Latvia, EPP/CD ; Mr Yuriy KAMELCHUK, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Lord Richard KEEN, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Claude KERN, France, ALDE ; Mr Kimmo KILJUNEN, Finland, SOC ; Mr Ian LIDDELL-GRAINGER, United Kingdom, EC/DA ; Mr Arminas LYDEKA, Lithuania, ALDE ; Mr Didier MARIE, France, SOC ; Ms Mariia MEZENTSEVA, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Ms Fiona O'LOUGHLIN, Ireland, ALDE ; Mr Joseph O'REILLY, Ireland, EPP/CD ; Mr Aleksander POCIEJ, Poland, EPP/CD ; Mr Lukas SAVICKAS, Lithuania, SOC ; Ms Ingjerd SCHOU, Norway, EPP/CD ; Mr Serhii SOBOLIEV, Ukraine, EPP/CD ; Mr Davor Ivo STIER, Croatia, EPP/CD ; Mr Emanuelis ZINGERIS, Lithuania, EPP/CD

Violations of human rights and democracy pose a serious threat to civil society and fuel conflict and social inequality. Globally, such violations undermine fundamental freedoms and hinder the development of countries and global peace. In particular, since 2014, Russia has been involved in serious violations in the occupied territories of Ukraine and Crimea. It has forced demographic changes, suppressed religious communities, militarised the Crimean peninsula and subjected Crimean Tatars to restrictions on education, expression and assembly, arrests and political persecution.

On 24 February 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, committing heinous human rights violations including deliberate killings, arbitrary detentions, enforced disappearances, torture and ill-treatment of civilians. Other violations include property invasions, forced evictions, intimidation of political prisoners and forced acquisition of Russian passports. The widespread destruction of civilian infrastructure and the illegal deportation of Ukrainian children are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

In response, sanctions and any other restrictive measures have become essential to protect human rights and democracy. They symbolise the global response to human rights violations and the pursuit of justice and State accountability. Sanctions put pressure on Russia by limiting its global market access, financial resources and technology, gradually isolating it internationally.

The Parliamentary Assembly should support sanctions against Russia to encourage policy changes and reduce human rights restrictions, and call on Council of Europe member States to jointly increase sanctions pressure on and the international isolation of Russia, with the aim of reducing its capacity to finance activities that lead to violations and promoting global peace and stability.