To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he or his officials have considered transposing the Magnitsky Act; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if he or his officials have discussed the Magnitsky Act with the American Ambassador or with officials in the USA; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade if the Magnitsky Act was discussed at the Foreign Affairs Council recently; and if will make a statement on the matter.
The circumstances surrounding the death of Mr. Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 remain deeply disturbing. From the outset, the EU called on the Russian authorities to conduct a comprehensive and independent investigation, and criticised their failure to clarify the circumstances surrounding Mr. Magnitsky’s death.
A number of countries, including some EU Member States, have put in place national “Magnitsky Acts” freezing the assets of, and withholding visas from, certain Russian officials believed to have acted in violation of human rights.
The question of the nature and scope of EU sanctions is always complex and difficult. The adoption of sanctions requires a unanimous decision of the Council. As the Deputy will be aware, EU economic sanctions have been in place against Russia since 2014 in response to its illegal annexation of Crimea and its further actions to destabilise Ukraine.
To date Ireland has raised its concerns regarding human rights in Russia directly with the Russian authorities and through the EU, the Council of Europe and at the UN Human Rights Council. In 2016, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted five principles to guide EU relations with Russia. Key amongst these is strengthening our support for civil society in Russia, a position which Ireland fully endorses.
At the Foreign Affairs Council yesterday Ministers discussed the EU’s policy on Russia. We agreed that the five principles represent a balanced and comprehensive framework for managing our relations with Russia. We also underlined the crucial importance of increasing EU support for civil society organisations and human rights activists at this time. The question of further EU measures against Russia may be considered over the coming period; however no decisions were taken at yesterday’s meeting.
I can confirm that my Department has not had discussions with the US authorities regarding the introduction of a Magnitsky Act in Ireland.
All Parlamientary Questions I make and their answers can be viewed in this section