David McAllister: Plenary speech on the arrest Alexei Navalny
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David McAllister: Plenary speech on the arrest Alexei Navalny

19 January 2021

Mr President, Dear colleagues!

I am very concerned and strongly condemn the arrest of Mr Alexei Navalny, upon his return to Russia just as I am very concerned by the detention of several dozens of his supporters and journalists across the country and also strongly condemn this.

The arrest of Mr Navalny and its modalities clearly contravenes international law and the Russian Constitution.

I urge the Russian authorities to release him and his supporters immediately. Their rights need to be fully and unconditionally respected and enforced.

These latest developments further deteriorate the already strained relations between the European Union and Russia.  

The intimidation and political persecution of government critics in Russia must stop.

Dear Josep Borrell,

I am thankful for your strong and clear words immediately after the arrest of Mr Navalny. Indeed, the “politicisation of the Russian judiciary is unacceptable”. 

The poisoning and the arrest of Alexei Navalny is sadly just the latest of many arguments to reassess our relations with Russia.

As the European Union, we should be very clear in our response and expand the so far introduced sanctions to individuals implied in his arrest and those who gave orders to do so.

As of December 2020 the EU has the instrument of the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime. We should not hesitate to use this tool when and where necessary.

Thank you.