The sanctions are aimed at Department Head of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Ajub Kataev and Chechen Deputy Prime Minister Abuzaid Vismuradov, who is also the personal bodyguard of the Chechen president. Both are accused of personally supervising the systematic persecution of LGBT + people and even participating in torture.
Since 2017, LGBT + people have been persecuted and tortured in the Russian region of Chechnya, which the Russian authorities strongly deny. The new sanctions from the EU are the strictest to date in this area, reports Reuters news agency.
It is yet another action against human rights violations in Russia, after measures were taken last month in retaliation for the imprisoned opposition leader Navalny.
The sanctions have provoked an angry response from Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. He called them “unacceptable” and stated that Russia no longer has any ties with the European Union as far as he is concerned. He made those statements during a visit to China, which is also facing new sanctions for violating the human rights of the Uyghur Muslim minority.