Sakharov Prize 2021: interviews with Alexei Navalny’s representatives

(Credit: Unsplash)

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


The award ceremony for this year’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, conferred upon Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny, will be held on 15 December at noon.

Mr Navalny is currently imprisoned in Russia and can therefore not attend the award ceremony in the European Parliament’s hemicycle in Strasbourg himself. The prize will be accepted by his daughter Daria Navalnaya in his name.


Journalists can express their interest in conducting an online or physical interview with Mr Leonid Volkov, Mr Navalny’s representative who is expected to be present at the ceremony, by registering via this EU survey link by Monday 6 December at 12.00 CET at the latest.


Mr Volkov is one of Mr Navalny’s political advisers and served as his chief of staff during Mr Navalny’s 2018 presidential election campaign.


Please note that making a request does not guarantee you will be granted an interview. You will receive confirmation of whether or not you have an interview slot only on Friday 10 December, not earlier. Mr Volkov speaks English and Russian and no interpretation can be provided.


Interviews slots are foreseen for Tuesday 14 December.


Alexei Navalny, 2021 Sakharov Prize laureate


Alexei Navalny is this year’s Sakharov Prize laureate, following a decision by European Parliament President David Sassoli and the political groups’ leaders on 20 October. He is a Russian opposition politician and anti-corruption activist, who came to international prominence for organising demonstrations against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his government, running for office and advocating for anti-corruption reforms. Because of his activities, he is currently incarcerated in a high-security penal colony in Russia.


Precautionary measures due to COVID-19


Accredited journalists wishing to attend the ceremony in person can do so. However, please note that precautionary measures, including the compulsory wearing of a medical facemask, respect for social distancing (1.5m) and temperature checks at entrances, remain in place.


In addition, since 3 November, all people (including journalists) entering Parliament’s buildings are also requested to present a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate. The EU Digital COVID Certificate proves that a person is either fully vaccinated, has immunity after having recovered from COVID-19 or can show a recent negative PCR test result. Both digital and paper formats of the EU Digital COVID Certificate or of a recognised equivalent certificate are valid.


Proof of a negative result of a PCR test carried out within the last 72 hours in Belgium, Luxembourg or France will also be accepted.

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