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Russia: Statement by the High Representative Josep Borrell on the anniversary of Alexei Navalny’s arrest and imprisonment


Today marks one year since the arrest and imprisonment of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny upon his return to Russia from life-saving medical treatment in Berlin after an assassination attempt on the Russian territory.

The European Union has been outspoken in considering the prosecution of and the verdict against Mr Navalny as politically motivated. We reiterate our call on the Russian authorities for his immediate and unconditional release without further delay and to comply with the interim measure granted by the European Court of Human Rights with regard to the nature and extent of risk to Mr Navalny’s life. We deplore that the Russian legal system continues to be instrumentalised against Mr Navalny, as he now faces new criminal charges.

The EU continues to condemn in the strongest possible terms the attempt to assassinate Mr Navalny through poisoning using a military chemical nerve agent of the “Novichok” group. We call on the Russian Federation to investigate it in full transparency and without further delay, and to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

The European Union also condemns the consistent disinformation campaign against Mr Navalny and his associates in Russian state media. We deplore the persecution of members of Mr Navalny’s network, including the arrest of Liliya Chanysheva, the former head of Alexei Navalny's office in the city of Ufa. We call on Russian authorities for her immediate and unconditional release.

Peter Stano
Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)460 75 45 53
Paloma Hall Caballero
Press Officer for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)2 296 85 60
+32 (0)460 76 85 60