Russia: Statement by the Spokesperson on the anniversary of Alexey Navalny’s poisoning

(Source: EEAS)

One year on from Alexey Navalny’s poisoning on 20 August 2020, the EU continues to call on the Russian Federation to investigate this assassination attempt in full transparency and without further delay, and to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure an impartial international investigation. The use of chemical weapons under any circumstances is completely unacceptable and in breach of international law. Alexei Navalny’s case must not go unresolved. Those responsible must be brought to justice.

The European Union has condemned in the strongest possible terms the attempt to assassinate Mr Navalny, through poisoning using a military chemical nerve agent of the “Novichok” group, and responded by imposing restrictive measures on six individuals and one entity. In March, in the framework of the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime, the EU imposed restrictive measures on four individuals over their roles in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of Mr Navalny, as well as the repression of peaceful protests in connection with his unlawful treatment.

We are deeply concerned about Mr Navalny’s politically-motivated arrest, the new criminal charges brought against him and members of his team, as well as outlawing of Mr Navalny’s organisation and his regional offices ahead of the State Duma elections in September. The cumulative impact of these developments, in conjunction with a raft of repressive measures targeting reputable NGOs and individuals in Russia, results in the further infringement of fundamental freedoms, restricting the space for civil society, independent media and the rights of political opposition in Russia.

The European Union reiterates its call on Russia for Mr Navalny’s immediate and unconditional release. We expect Russia to respect and ensure human rights and to uphold their national and international obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights.

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