Motion for a resolution - B9-0282/2020Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on 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

Bernard Guetta, Petras Auštrevičius, Stéphane Bijoux, Vlad‑Marius Botoş, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Anna Júlia Donáth, Klemen Grošelj, Moritz Körner, Frédérique Ries, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu
on behalf of the Renew Group

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

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


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions and recommendations on Russia, in particular its resolution of 13 March 2014 on Russia: sentencing of demonstrators involved in the Bolotnaya Square events[1], its recommendation to the Council of 2 April 2014 on establishing common visa restrictions for Russian officials involved in the Sergei Magnitsky case[2], and its resolutions of 15 January 2015 on Russia, in particular the case of Alexei Navalny[3], of 12 March 2015 on the murder of the Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov and the state of democracy in Russia[4], and of 6 April 2017 on Russia, the arrest of Alexei Navalny and other protestors[5],

 having regard to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention), which prohibits the use, development, production, stockpiling and transfer of chemical weapons,

 having regard to the Russian Constitution, in particular Article 29 which protects freedom of speech, and to the international human rights obligations to which Russia has committed itself as a member of the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the UN,

 having regard to Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, both of which provide that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and to which the Russian Federation is a party,

 having regard to the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998,

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

A. whereas Alexei Navalny fell ill on 20 August 2020 on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow, during which he displayed signs of poisoning; whereas after he was transported to Germany, the German Government officially announced on 2 September that the toxicological analysis carried out by medical experts and a specialised laboratory in Germany proved beyond doubt that Alexei Navalny was poisoned by a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group;

B. whereas Alexei Navalny is in intensive care in a Berlin hospital and in a serious condition;

C. whereas nerve agents from the Novichok group are military-grade nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, and were recently used in the March 2018 attack on the former Russian intelligence operative Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, United Kingdom; whereas the attack also resulted in the accidental death of Amesbury resident Dawn Sturgess;

D. whereas the Russian Federation, as a full member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, has committed itself to the principles of democracy, the rule of law and respect for fundamental freedoms and human rights; whereas the European Union has repeatedly offered additional assistance and expertise to help Russia to modernise and abide by its constitutional and legal order, in line with Council of Europe standards;

E. whereas the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons and their precursors are outlawed under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which the Russian Federation is a party;

F. whereas this recent assassination attempt is just the latest example of the very serious backsliding on the protection of human rights and respect for commonly agreed democratic principles and the rule of law in the Russian Federation;

G. whereas on 8 September, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged the Government of the Russian Federation to carry out, or fully cooperate with, a thorough, transparent, independent and impartial investigation;

H. whereas the G7 foreign ministers condemned the confirmed poisoning of Alexei Navalny and called on Russia to urgently and fully establish transparency on who was responsible for the attack;

I. whereas according to the Memorial Human Rights Centre, the Russian Federation has at least 60 political prisoners, with others persecuted without imprisonment;

J. whereas from 25 June to 1 July 2020, Russia held a referendum on constitutional reform which was rushed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and which, according to the Russian election watchdog Golos, did not meet Russian or international standards and was marred by multiple irregularities in the lead-up to the vote, during the vote itself, and during the counting of the ballots;

K. whereas there are no free and fair elections in Russia and whereas opposition parties and candidates are continuously persecuted, intimidated and disqualified from political participation; whereas on 7 September 2020, 13 candidates from the Yabloko party were removed from the elections to Osinovo City Council over their active participation in the Dioxinovo movement, which opposes the construction of an incineration plant; whereas the following day, three Yabloko candidates for city councils and regional parliaments – Ruslan Zinatullin, Irina Maltseva and Sergei Maksimenko – had their apartments searched and were taken for interrogation;

L. whereas according to the Freedom in the World 2020 report, there is no independent media in Russia and Russian journalists are under constant threat, facing harassment, intimidation, arrest and life-threatening attacks, and the stigma of being labelled as foreign agents; whereas according to the international NGO Justice for Journalists, the number of publicised non-physical cyberattacks and threats against journalists increased from 70 incidents in 2017 to over 160 in 2019; whereas on 23 July 2020, Dmitriy Nizovtsev, a correspondent for Shtab Navalnogo, a YouTube news outlet owned by Alexei Navalny, was assaulted in his home in the eastern city of Khabarovsk after livestreaming ongoing protests in the city;

M. whereas both domestically and abroad, Russia is undertaking mass disinformation and propaganda campaigns targeting the European Union and its Member States in an effort to undermine democratic debate and exacerbate social polarisation, engage in historical revisionism and improve its own image in the context of COVID-19;

1. Condemns in the strongest possible terms the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny;

2. Calls on the Russian Federation to investigate thoroughly and in a transparent and impartial manner the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny and to bring to justice those responsible, wherever the ultimate responsibility may lie;

3. Calls on the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to investigate the use of chemical weapons in the poisoning of Alexei Navalny and calls on the Russian Government to cooperate fully with the investigation and to provide immediate, full and complete disclosure of its Novichok programme to the OPCW; highlights, in this regard, the decision taken by the OPCW in December 2019 to add Novichok agents to the list of closely controlled substances, which was also supported by the Russian Federation;

4. Expresses its full solidarity with Alexei Navalny; condemns the constant attempts of the Russian authorities to silence him and to counter his organisation’s efforts to raise awareness of and combat corruption in public institutions and among political representatives and the holders of public office;

5. In the absence of immediate collaboration from the Russian institutions, calls on the Member States and the European External Action Service (EEAS) to fully utilise the tools at their disposal for dealing with the use and proliferation of chemical weapons, including the use of restrictive measures;

6. Deplores Russia’s disinformation and propaganda campaigns, which are steadily on the rise, and stresses the importance of counter-measures and effective debunking actions;

7. Calls on the Russian authorities to put an end to all acts of harassment, including at judicial level, against political opponents, journalists and political and civil society activists in the Russian Federation, and to ensure in all circumstances that they are able to carry out their legitimate activities without any interference;

8. Recalls that freedom of opinion and expression is a right, not a privilege, which, together with the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, plays a decisive role in the emergence and existence of an effective democratic system;

9. Recalls the importance of Russia’s full compliance with its international legal obligations as a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and a member of the Council of Europe and OSCE, and with the fundamental human rights and the rule of law enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; reiterates that Russia’s voting rights in the Council of Europe were suspended for five years until June 2019 following its illegal annexation of Crimea; calls on the Council of Europe to suspend the Russian Federation’s voting rights again as long as the Navalny case is not properly investigated;

10. Calls on the Council, the Member States and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) to accelerate the setting up of an ambitious human rights sanctions regime in the form of a European Magnitsky Act;

11. Calls on the Member States, in the absence of a credible Russian investigation into the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny, to consider adopting further restrictive measures against the Russian Federation;

12. Calls on the Member States involved to withdraw from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project if the Russian Federation does not fulfil its obligation to investigate the crime against Alexei Navalny impartially and effectively;

13. Calls on the VP/HR and the EEAS to ensure that the cases of all persons prosecuted for political reasons are raised in EU-Russia human rights consultations, when resumed, and to formally request that Russia’s representatives in these consultations respond in every case; calls on the Presidents of the Council and the Commission, and the VP/HR, to continue to follow such cases closely, to raise these issues in different formats and meetings with Russia, and to report back to Parliament on exchanges with the Russian authorities;

14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the President, Government and Parliament of the Russian Federation.


Last updated: 15 September 2020
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