The EU calls on Russia to release Navalni a year after his arrest

The European Union on Monday reiterated its call for Russia to release opposition figure Alexei Navalni a year after his arrest as he returned to the country after recovering from poisoning in Germany.

“The EU directly viewed his persecution and sentencing as politically motivated. We reiterate our call to the Russian authorities for his immediate and unconditional release,” EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell said in a statement.

In addition, the head of community diplomacy denounced the “instrumentalization” of the Russian judiciary against Navalni given the new charges he faces. The main opposition figure against the president, Vladimir Putin, was arrested for violating the terms of the probation he benefited from after a 2014 fraud conviction.

The EU calls on Russia to release Navalni a year after his arrest
The EU calls on Russia to release Navalni a year after his arrest

Back in Russia, the judiciary ruled that he should go to prison to serve the pending three-and-a-half-year sentence, without considering a case of poisoning that Moscow has always said it knows nothing about.

The EU has used the anniversary of his arrest to condemn “in the strongest terms” the attempted assassination of Navalni, who was poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent, and has continued to urge Moscow to conduct an independent investigation into his case. .

Borrell also criticizes the disinformation campaign about Navalni and his foundation in the Russian state media and the persecution of his closest circle, including his colleague Lilia Chanisheva.

In a post on Instagram a year after his arrest at Moscow Airport, Navalni assured that he had no regrets about his decisions, despite realizing that there was a “tug of war” between “courage and fear”. The text is accompanied by a picture with his wife Yulia Navalniya.

The Russian authorities used the dissident’s detention to increase pressure on his entourage, labeling his organizations, and thus their members, as “extremists”. They have also opened new legal fronts against the opposition.

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