Motion for a resolution - B9-0280/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the situation in Russia: the poisoning of Alexei Navalny

14.9.2020 - (2020/2777(RSP))

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Sergey Lagodinsky, Heidi Hautala, Rasmus Andresen, Bronis Ropė, Anna Cavazzini, Hannah Neumann, Tineke Strik, Markéta Gregorová, Alviina Alametsä, Reinhard Bütikofer, Monika Vana, Sven Giegold, Jordi Solé, Francisco Guerreiro
on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0280/2020

Procedure : 2020/2777(RSP)
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Russia: the poisoning of Alexei Navalny


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and on EU-Russia relations,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

 having regard to the UN Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction,

 having regard to the statements by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy Josep Borrell on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny of 24 August 2020 and 2 September 2020, as well as his declaration on behalf of the EU on 3 September 2020,

 having regard to the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet of 8 September 2020, calling for an independent investigation into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny,

 having regard to the statement by the G7 foreign ministers on the poisoning of Alexei Navalny of 8 September 2020,

 having regard to Rule 132(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas Alexei Navalny, as a lawyer, blogger and anti-corruption activist, has uncovered numerous corruption affairs involving business enterprises and Russian politicians, led several public protests all over Russia and has become one of the few effective leaders of the Russian opposition; whereas he had been detained, arrested and sentenced previously, in attempts to stop his political and public activities; whereas European Court of Human Rights has declared a number of those procedures abusive and contrary to the principle of fair trial; whereas Navalny had been physically attacked in 2017 using a medical disinfectant which left him almost blind, and by means of an alleged poisoning during his detention in 2019; whereas in neither of these cases the perpetrators were brought to justice;

B. whereas Navalny collapsed while flying from Tomsk to Moscow on 20 August 2020 and was put in an induced coma for two weeks to mitigate a severe threat to his life; whereas he was transported to the Charité Hospital in Berlin on 22 August;

C. whereas the German Government announced on 2 September 2020 that clinical and toxicological tests carried out by a German military laboratory showed that Navalny had been poisoned with a Novichok-class nerve agent;

D. whereas Russian doctors were the first to treat him for poisoning and later claimed that there were no traces of poison in his body and tried to prevent him from being transported out of the country, and whereas the Russian authorities deny any connection to the incident;

E. whereas nerve agents such as Novichok are sophisticated substances that are lethal, highly complex and extremely hard to source, for which special laboratories are needed and which are known to have been developed by the Soviet Union and later, by Russia; whereas the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has placed this substance on the list of prohibited chemical agents;

F. whereas there have been a number of cases of poisoning, or other forms of targeted assassination or attempted assassination, of regime opponents and independent journalists, either within Russia itself or on foreign soil, over the past two decades, victims of which include Anna Politkovskaya, Alexander Litvinenko, Sergei Skripal, Boris Nemtsov, Pyotr Verzilov and Vladimir Kara-Murza;

G. whereas the situation of human rights and the rule of law continues to deteriorate in Russia, with systematic efforts by the authorities to silence free speech, limit the freedom of assembly, obstruct opposition activities, react with repression to any activities aimed at exposing corruption and stifle the activities of Russian civil society;

H. whereas this ongoing repression of social dissent is reinforced by the impunity of police and security forces as well as the unwillingness of the courts to prosecute the real perpetrators of these crimes;

I. whereas representatives of the opposition are systematically subjected to verbal attacks, ad homine campaigns and dehumanisation by the government or pro-government media;

J. whereas the rights of freedom of thought and speech, association, and peaceful assembly are enshrined in the constitution of the Russian Federation;

K. whereas the Russian Federation is a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Convention on Human Rights, as well as a member of the Council of Europe, and has therefore committed itself to international standards and principles governing the rule of law and human rights and fundamental freedoms;

L. whereas these principles are crucial pillars of a resilient and pluralistic society; whereas the free and independent work of the opposition, civil society organisations and the media is a cornerstone of a democratic society based on the rule of law;

M. whereas Parliament has, on numerous occasions, expressed its concern about the state of democracy in Russia, the systematic failure to uphold the rule of law and respect for fundamental rights and principles, and the shrinking space for independent and dissident actors in Russia;

N. whereas Parliament has officially come to the conclusion that Russia can no longer be considered a ‘strategic partner’, also in the light of its antagonistic foreign policy, including military interventions and illegal occupations in third countries;

1. Extends its sincere wishes for a prompt and full recovery to Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most renowned opposition figure;

2. Strongly condemns the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny, as well as the use of chemical weapons, which constitutes a serious breach of international law and international human rights standards;

3. Expresses its solidarity with the democratic forces in Russia, which are committed to an open and free society, and its support for all individuals and organisations who are the targets of attacks and repression;

4. Calls on VP/HR and the German Council Presidency to work towards an international investigation into the poisoning of Alexei Navalny with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the United Nations and the Council of Europe; urges Russian authorities to cooperate fully with international actors in a transparent and impartial way and to hold the perpetrators accountable;

5. Urges the Russian authorities to stop their harassment and intimidation of and attacks on the opposition, civil society, media, human rights defenders and other activists, and instead to enable the Russian people to exercise basic freedoms and pursue legitimate political and civil society activities; condemns the Russian authorities’ failure to protect these actors against attacks, harassment and intimidation and to impartially investigate such attacks against them;

6. Calls on the Russian Government and State Duma to revise the legal framework for elections and the legislation on foreign agents and undesirable organisations in order to facilitate pluralism and free and fair elections in accordance with international standards and create a level playing field for opposition candidates;

7. Calls on the VP/HR and the Council to devise a new strategy for the EU’s relations with Russia; believes that any such strategy must better support civil society organisations that promote democratic values, the rule of law, fundamental freedoms and human rights in Russia, including Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation, and strengthen people-to-people contacts with the citizens of Russia;

8. Asks the Council and the VP/HR to adopt a targeted EU human rights violations sanctions regime as soon as possible, to be applicable to individuals or entities found in grave breach of human rights or essential freedoms, particularly related to the repression of civil society, opposition activists and journalists; urges the deployment of such sanctions mechanisms as would allow for the collection and freezing of the European assets of corrupt individuals in accordance with the findings of Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Foundation; considers that propagandists within the Russian Government and pro-government media who actively contribute to disinformation and hate attacks on and about the Russian opposition should also be covered by such sanctions;

9. Urges the EU institutions and all Member States to stop the completion of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in order to avoid increasing Europe’s dependency on Russian energy supplies and allowing Russia to benefit and finance its aggressive foreign policy and military interventions from the proceeds of such energy exports to the EU; calls for a systematic review of similar bilateral projects in the EU that undermine the principle of solidarity, support corruption or lead to human rights violations;

10. Encourages the EU to continuously call on Russia to repeal or amend all laws incompatible with international standards; calls on Russia to sustain the primacy of such international norms, in accordance with the provisions of the non-derogable Article 15, Section 4 of the Russian Constitution, and not to apply the illegally enacted recent changes to the Russian Constitution that state the opposite; underlines that any dialogue with Russia must be based on respect for international law;

11. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, and the President, Government and the State Duma of the Russian Federation.


Last updated: 16 September 2020
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