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Wednesday, 28 April 2021 - Brussels Provisional edition

Russia, the case of Alexei Navalny, military build-up on Ukraine's border and Russian attack in the Czech Republic (debate)

  Sandra Kalniete, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, recently two legal decisions were taken in Russia. First, the Moscow prosecutor declared illegal the removal of the monument of Feliks Dzierżyński, the head of the secret police. Second, the prosecutor labelled Navalny’s anti-corruption foundation an extreme organisation and called to suspend its activities.

The recent developments in Russia are a clear signal that the Kremlin is returning to Soviet—era practices, both domestically – locking up and compromising the health of Alexei Navalny – and abroad – conducting assassinations and explosions in EU Member States and amassing troops at the Ukrainian borders.

The EU and US must recognise that the Kremlin’s provocations will not cease. For this reason, we must clearly and explicitly communicate to Russia the high price it will have to pay for overstepping the deadline set by international law. The Kremlin must respect the decision of the European Court of Human Rights and immediately and unconditionally release Alexei Navalny. The involvement of the Russian intelligence services in murders and terror acts in the EU Member States must be stopped.

To conclude, I want to stress that the leading European powers must agree to grant Ukraine the NATO membership action plan it was promised in Bucharest in 2008. We must also assist Ukraine in military terms, in strengthening its capabilities and providing defensive weapons.

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