MEPs call for additional EU sanctions against Russia over Navalny’s imprisonment

UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras
Moscow, Russia’s capital. Opposition activist Alexei Navalny returned to the city on Sunday and was arrested.

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament.


MEPs strongly condemn Alexei Navalny’s arrest and call on the EU to extend sanctions against Russian officials to cover those involved in his jailing.

In a debate with EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday afternoon, MEPs called on the Russian authorities to immediately release Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, stressing that his arrest and the way it happened clearly contravene international law and the Russian constitution.


MEPs also demand that EU sanctions currently being applied to Russian officials responsible for poisoning Mr Navalny should be enlarged to cover those involved in his imprisonment. For all such purposes, the EU must not hesitate to use its new EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, members stressed.


Some MEPs also argued that much more must be done to hold the Kremlin effectively accountable for its human rights abuses and for politicising the Russian justice system. Several called on the EU, and some national and regional governments in particular, to finally move ahead with cancelling the remaining work on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, as a means to impose proper economic sanctions against the Russian government.


Others stated that the Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be afraid of following in the footsteps of Belarusian dictator Aliaksandr Lukashenka, and is therefore doing his utmost to arrest critics of the regime.


You can watch the debate again here. A resolution on Mr Navalny’s arrest will be put to the vote on Thursday.


Click on the links to view individual statements again

Josep BORRELL FONTELLES , Vice President, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

David MCALLISTER (EPP, DE)

Isabel SANTOS Isabel (S&D, PT)

Urmas PAET (Renew Europe, ET)

Marco ZANNI (ID, IT)

Sergey LAGODINSKY (Greens/EFA, DE)

Witold Jan WASZCZYKOWSKI (ECR, PL)

Idoia VILLANUEVA RUIZ (The Left, ES)

Fabio Massimo CASTALDO (NI, IT)

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