Procedure : 2021/2642(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B9-0237/2021

Texts tabled :


Debates :

PV 28/04/2021 - 10
CRE 28/04/2021 - 10

Votes :

Texts adopted :


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</TitreType><TitreSuite>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</TitreSuite>

<TitreRecueil>pursuant to Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure</TitreRecueil>

<Titre>on Russia, the case of Alexei Navalny, the military build-up on Ukraine’s border and Russian attacks in the Czech Republic</Titre>


<RepeatBlock-By><Depute>Bernard Guetta, Petras Auštrevičius, Dita Charanzová, Olivier Chastel, Klemen Grošelj, Karin Karlsbro, Karen Melchior, Javier Nart, Dragoș Pîslaru, Frédérique Ries, María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos, Michal Šimečka, Nicolae Ştefănuță, Ramona Strugariu</Depute>

<Commission>{Renew}on behalf of the Renew Europe Group</Commission>


See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B9-0236/2021


European Parliament resolution on Russia, the case of Alexei Navalny, the military build-up on Ukraine’s border and Russian attacks in the Czech Republic


The European Parliament,

 having regard to its previous resolutions on Russia and Ukraine,

 having regard to the statement by the G7 Foreign Ministers of 18 March 2021 on Ukraine and to the statement by the G7 Foreign Ministers and the EU High Representative of 12 April 2021 on Ukraine,

 having regard to the press statement by President Charles Michel of 2 March 2021 following his meeting in eastern Ukraine with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy,

 having regard to the North Atlantic Council statement of 15 April 2021 following the announcement by the United States of actions with regard to Russia,

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders,

 having regard to the Constitution of the Russian Federation, in particular Chapter 2, and specifically 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 the statements of the President of the European Council and the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) of 17 January 2021 and of the President of the European Commission of 18 January 2021 following the detention of Alexei Navalny,

 having regard to the letter of the leaders of the EPP, S&D and Renew Europe Groups of 14 April 2021 on the health of Alexei Navalny,

 having regard to the declarations by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union of 3 February 2021 on the sentencing of Alexei Navalny and of 18 April 2021 on the deteriorating health of Alexei Navalny, and to the statement by the Spokesperson of the European External Action Service (EEAS) of 11 April 2021 on the actions against investigative journalist Roman Anin,

 having regard to the North Atlantic Council statement of 22 April 2021 in solidarity with the Czech Republic, the declaration by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union of 21 April 2021 in solidarity with the Czech Republic over criminal activities on its territory, the joint statement by the leaders of the EPP, S&D, Renew Europe, Greens/EFA and ECR Groups of 21 April 2021, Prime Minister Babiš’ speech of 20 April 2021 in the Czech Chamber of Deputies, and the statement by the EEAS Spokesperson of 19 April 2021 on the expulsion of Czech diplomats,

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

A. whereas on 18 April 2021, the involvement of Russian military intelligence service (GRU) agents in the 2014 explosions at an ammunition depot in Vrbětice in the Czech Republic, in which two Czech citizens were killed, was revealed; whereas the same GRU agents were also responsible for the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in the United Kingdom in 2018 using a military-grade Novichok nerve agent, which also led to the death of a British citizen; whereas GRU agents were also charged with the attempted murder of Emilian Gebrev, the owner of an arms factory, and two other people in Bulgaria in 2015; whereas Russia is non-cooperative in investigating these crimes committed on European Union territory, denies the involvement of GRU in the poisoning of the Skripals and shelters the key suspects;

B. whereas on 2 February 2021, a Moscow court sentenced Alexei Navalny to two and a half years imprisonment for the alleged violation of his probation while he was recovering in Germany from an assassination attempt by poisoning with a prohibited military chemical agent perpetrated by agents of the security services of the Russian Federation within the Russian Federation;

C. whereas the European Court of Human Rights had already determined, in its 2017 judgment, that Alexei Navalny’s conviction was arbitrary and manifestly unreasonable;

D. whereas the EU, together with international partners, called on the Russian authorities to thoroughly investigate the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny, to fully cooperate with the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to ensure an impartial international investigation, and to bring those responsible to justice; whereas no such impartial investigation by the Russian authorities has taken place to date and Russia has explicitly rejected any calls for an investigation;

E. whereas on 15 October 2020, in the absence of any Russian investigation or cooperation with the OPCW, the EU imposed sanctions against six Russian individuals and one entity involved in the crime, and on 2 March 2021 imposed sanctions under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EU Magnitsky Act) on four Russian individuals over their roles in the arbitrary arrest, prosecution and sentencing of Alexei Navalny;

F. whereas Alexei Navalny has been incarcerated under harsh conditions in a high security penal colony and has been subjected to sleep deprivation, and his health has severely deteriorated; whereas, after prison authorities failed to provide him with adequate medical care or allow his own doctors to visit him, on 31 March 2021, Alexei Navalny began a hunger strike in protest, which lasted 24 days; whereas independent experts appointed by the UN Human Rights Council have stated that Alexei Navalny’s life is in serious danger and have called for his urgent medical evacuation from Russia;

G. whereas more than 1 600 people were detained on 21 April 2021 during large protests across the Russian Federation in support of Alexei Navalny;

H. whereas the rights to freedom of thought and speech, association, and peaceful assembly are enshrined in the Constitution of the Russian Federation; whereas the Russian Federation is a signatory of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the ECHR, and is a member of the Council of Europe;

I. whereas the dire situation of human rights and the rule of law continues to further deteriorate in Russia, with systematic efforts by the authorities to silence free speech, and limit freedom of assembly and the activities of Russian civil society; whereas on 9 April 2021, the Russian authorities briefly detained, interrogated and seized the phones and documents of Roman Anin, one of Russia’s leading investigative journalists affiliated with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP); whereas these actions have also endangered his fellow OCCRP journalists working on transparency and corruption issues, due to the information that the Federal Security Service (FSB) now has full access to;

J. whereas in recent weeks more than 100 000 Russian troops had amassed at the Ukrainian borders and in Crimea, as well as tanks, armoured vehicles, artillery and other heavy equipment; whereas the number of casualties in the war in eastern Ukraine has increased noticeably over the past months;

K. whereas the Russian Ministry of Defence has unilaterally announced that it will close the waters around the Kerch Strait to non-commercial vessels of other countries until October 2021, thus partially blocking access to the Sea of Azov;

L. whereas the Russian military gesticulations and the increasing militarisation by the Russian Federation at Ukraine’s borders, in Crimea and the Donbas region, including through massive movements of troops and multiple military exercises, continues to have a negative impact on the security situation of Ukraine, the Black Sea region and the European continent;

M. whereas Ukraine has requested that paragraph 16.3 of Chapter III of the Vienna Document on Confidence- and Security-Building Measures be invoked, requesting an explanation regarding the unusual military activities of the Russian Federation near Ukraine’s border and in Crimea;

N. whereas Russia continues to engage aggressively in destabilising behaviour through attempted interference in elections, widespread disinformation campaigns, and malicious cyberattacks, a recent notable example being the SolarWinds cyber operation, which has affected European governments and businesses;

1. Points out that the unacceptable cases covered by this resolution are the result of the authoritarian and undemocratic nature of the Putin regime, rule of law backsliding in Russia and the regime’s aggressive stance towards those its perceives as opponents, within and outside Russia; underlines that the policies conducted by President Putin and his regime are founded on the use of threatening rhetoric to fuel a climate of fear and conflict in order to increase their grip on power and turn attention away from the many real economic and political challenges facing the citizens of Russia in their daily lives;

2. Regrets the current state of EU-Russia relations caused by Russia’s aggression and continued destabilisation of Ukraine, hostile behaviour towards and outright attacks on EU Member States and societies manifested, inter alia, through interference in election processes, the use of disinformation, malicious cyberattacks, sabotage and chemical weapons, and the significant deterioration in the human rights situation and respect for the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly in Russia;

3. Deplores the involvement of Russian military intelligence (GRU) agents in the Vrbětice explosions as an unacceptable violation of an EU Member State’s sovereignty and national security; considers that an attack on a Member State must be viewed as a terror act on the entire EU; condemns the reaction of Russia to expel 20 Czech diplomats in retaliation;

4. Expresses its full solidarity with, and its support to, the Czech Republic and the Czech people; calls on the Council and all Member States to show their solidarity by adopting strong, common and concrete measures in response to this terror attack; welcomes the solidarity shown by Slovakia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Romania, which have already expelled Russian diplomats from their missions in response, and calls for the EU and the rest of the Member States to follow;

5. Strongly condemns Russia’s hostile behaviour in Europe and calls on its government to put an end to these activities, which violate international principles and norms and threaten stability in Europe;

6. Calls on the Russian authorities to cooperate fully in the investigation into the terrorist attack in the Czech Republic and provide all the requested information;

7. calls on the Member States to cross-check all relevant EU and Schengen systems with the relevant biometric data of Russian nationals, as the GRU agents responsible for the 2014 explosions at an ammunition depot in Vrbětice were also involved in other malign operations on European soil and their group seems to travel freely to the EU, in order to prevent these individuals from entering the EU under false pretence; calls on Member States to see what other measures for identification can be taken;

8. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of Alexei Navalny and of all other persons detained while protesting for his release; reaffirms its strong condemnation of the politically motivated repression carried out against him and his supporters by the Russian authorities, which breaches Russia’s international commitments; reminds the Russian Federation that as a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE, it has committed to respecting fundamental freedoms, human rights and the rule of law as enshrined in the ECHR and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

9. Reminds the Russian authorities and President Putin personally as the head of the Russian state that they bear full responsibility for caring for Alexei Navalny’s life and bodily integrity and must take all necessary measures to protect his physical and mental health and well-being; continues to urge President Putin and the Russian authorities to investigate, bring to justice and hold to account those responsible for the attempted murder of Alexei Navalny;

10. Calls on the Russian authorities to put an end to the harassment, intimidation, violence and repression of independent and dissident voices, to respect the freedom of the media and to cease any harassment and pressure on independent media, such as against investigative journalist Roman Anin;

11. Calls on the Council to take an active stance and impose additional targeted restrictive measures under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EU Magnitsky Act) against all individuals who bear responsibility for the prosecution, sentencing and ill-treatment of Alexei Navalny;

12. Recalls that the European Parliament stands by the Russian people in their struggle for fundamental freedoms and human rights, democracy and stabilisation of the European continent, respect for all international borders, and coexistence and peaceful cooperation between the European Union and the Russian Federation; calls on the Russian authorities to guarantee all democratic parties equal access and equal chances during the upcoming Duma elections;

13. Reiterates its call for the EU institutions and the Member States to continue closely monitoring the human rights situation in the Russian Federation and to continue monitoring court cases involving civil society organisations, journalists, opposition politicians and activists, including the case of Alexei Navalny; calls for the EU to increase its support to Russian dissidents, non-governmental organisations and civil society organisations, and independent media;

14. Reaffirms its support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders; reiterates its support for EU’s policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol; welcomes the measures taken by the EU as a consequence of the illegal annexation; calls for the immediate release of all illegally detained and imprisoned Ukrainian citizens in the Crimean peninsula and in Russia;

15. Considers the Russian military build-up on the Ukrainian border a hazardous provocation with potential for deeply concerning and dangerous consequences; calls on the Russian authorities to confirm and implement with no further delay the pull-back of their troops and military equipment from the Ukrainian border, and to immediately de-escalate tensions in line with its international obligations;

16. Recalls that the Minsk Agreements are fundamental to the resolution of the crisis in Ukraine and therefore urges the signatories to honour their commitments;

17. Calls on Russia to cease its continued destabilisation of Ukraine, especially its actions in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, Crimea and around Ukraine’s borders, and to stop fuelling the conflict by providing financial and military support to the armed groups it supports in eastern Ukraine; condemns the role of Russia in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in 2014 and its attempts to continually undermine the investigation by deliberately spreading disinformation; recalls the full support of the international community for achieving justice for the 298 victims of the downing of Flight MH17 and demands Russia’s full cooperation in the search for the people responsible and in bringing them to justice;

18. Calls on Russia to uphold the OSCE principles and commitments on transparency of military movements, to engage constructively in the Trilateral Contact Group to confirm the ceasefire and to respond to the procedure established under Chapter III of the Vienna Document;

19. Calls on Russia to ensure unhindered and free passage of all ships through the Kerch Strait to and from the Azov Sea, in accordance with international law;

20. Stresses that if the Russian military build-up were to lead to an invasion of Ukraine, the EU must make clear that the price for such a violation of international law and norms would be severe; calls for the EU and its Member States to increase their efforts to help strengthen the security and resilience of Ukraine;

21. Considers that the Vrbětice attack by Russia, on European Union soil, together with the situation on the Ukraine border and the treatment of Alexei Navalny, must lead to a reassessment of the EU’s overall strategy towards Russia; urges the Council to react to the Russian Government’s attacks and hostile behaviour by strengthening the EU targeted sanctions regimes by adding to the sanctions lists President Putin’s main backers, as well as the regime’s main propagandists;

22. Calls for the EU and its Member States to enlarge the current EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime (EU Magnitsky Act) to deal with corruption; underlines that EU Member States should no longer be welcoming places for Russian wealth and investments of unclear origin; calls for the EU to increase efforts to curb the Kremlin’s strategic investments within the EU for the purposes of subversion, undermining democratic processes and institutions, and spreading corruption; continues to insist that Cyprus, Bulgaria and Malta abandon their ‘golden passport’ regimes;

23. Calls on the Member States and the High Representative to prioritise in particular preparedness for hybrid threats from the Russian Federation and to strengthen the Member States’ capacities by enhancing cooperation and by allocating appropriate budgetary resources to this area;

24. Calls for the Member States to show solidarity and unity of action, to critically review and coordinate their positions on Russia and to reconsider the continuation of strategic projects such as Nord Stream 2; stresses, moreover, that the EU should strengthen transatlantic solidarity and coordination in dealing with the challenges raised by the current Government of the Russian Federation;

25. 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 the State Duma of the Russian Federation, and the President, Government and the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine.


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