MEPs demand sanctions against Russia over Navalny’s detention and a halt to the construction of Nord Stream 2.
Thursday, January 21, the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the arrest of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny.The resolution was supported by 581 MEPs, 50 voted against and 44 abstained.
Thus, the EU Council calls for the introduction of sanctions against Russian oligarchs, the closest entourage of Russian President Vladimir Putin and propagandists in the media. It is proposed to freeze their assets in the EU, ban their travels to the EU and extend sanctions to their closest relatives.
It is also proposed to stop the construction of Nord Stream-2.
The resolution also calls on the Russian authorities to immediately release Navalny and condemns politically motivated repression, including the use of the justice system. The resolution considers Russia’s actions as inappropriate for a member of the Council of Europe and the OSCE. It calls on European organizations to assess whether Russia has violated its commitments.
The resolution calls on the Russian authorities to “stop the harassment, intimidation, violence, and repression of independent and dissident voices,” to put an end to “the prevailing impunity that has led to the deaths of many journalists, activists, human rights defenders, and opposition politicians.” The European Parliament believes that “the attempted assassination of Navalny and his arrest upon return to Russia is aimed at preventing further exposure of serious corruption in the regime and are part of a systemic attempt to silence and suppress it. The Russian leadership, according to the deputies, is thus seeking to stay in power and deprive people of the chance for democracy and freedom.
Russia is also demanded to give the OPCW full information about the Novichok program and “investigate and prosecute those responsible for the crime” against Navalny.
The resolution calls for a review of Russian legislation on foreign agents and undesirable organizations and guarantees equal access and chances for all democratic parties in the upcoming Duma elections.
The resolution with an appeal to the EU Council is recommendatory in nature.
To remind, Navalny was detained at the passport control on January 17, when he arrived in Moscow from Berlin. The next day he was sentenced to 30 days of arrest – until February 15.