MEPs to debate the crackdown on the political opposition in Russia
EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell will discuss the political turmoil in Russia, including Alexei Navalny’s case and country-wide protests, with MEPs on Tuesday.
In recent weeks, thousands of Russians have taken part in protests to demand the release of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny, as well as to criticise corruption and decreasing living standards, only to be met by mass arrests and a sweeping crackdown by the police.
Mr Navalny was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison by a Moscow court on Tuesday, 2 February. He is accused of violating the conditions of a suspended sentence for embezzlement charges, which the opposition leader has said are politically motivated.
The European Court of Human Rights has also concluded that these charges are arbitrary.
EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell is set to visit Russia on 4-6 February for meetings with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other Russian interlocutors.
Following Mr Navalny’s arrest upon his recent return from Germany, where he had been recovering from an assassination attempt, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for his immediate release and significantly tighter EU sanctions against Russia.
Procedure: Statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
Debate: Tuesday, 9 February