‘Appalling’: World leaders blast Russia over Navalny arrest

Alexey Navalny has been arrested at a Moscow airport as he tried to enter the nation from Germany, the place he had spent 5 months recovering from an alleged nerve agent poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin.

The Kremlin critic’s detention on Sunday at passport management in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport was broadly anticipated as Russia’s prisons service mentioned he had violated parole phrases from a suspended sentence on a 2014 embezzlement conviction. The jail service mentioned he can be held in custody till a courtroom guidelines on his case. No date for a courtroom look was instantly introduced.

The service earlier mentioned it might search to have Navalny serve his three-and-a-half-year sentence behind bars for the 2014 cost, which Navalny claims is politically motivated. His legal professionals on Monday mentioned they’d not been granted entry to him since he was detained, and that his situation was unknown. Alexander Baunov, a senior fellow on the Moscow Carnegie Centre, described Navalny’s option to return as “courageous”.

“He at all times [said] he was a courageous man, who has no concern earlier than the authorities, of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the regulation and order machine. Now’s the time to show these claims,” Baunov instructed Al Jazeera. “If he stayed overseas, he would diminish his claims.”

His arrest set off a wave of reactions from officers and world leaders, a lot of whom known as for his instant launch. Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov mentioned on Monday that expressions of concern mirror an try “to divert consideration from the disaster of the Western mannequin of improvement”.

Al Jazeera’s Aleksandra Godfroid, reporting from Moscow, mentioned the worldwide response was unlikely to influence the Kremlin. “We all know from the previous that such requests and such pleas to the Kremlin usually are not very nicely met by the Russian authorities,” Godfroid mentioned. “That’s to say, they don’t seem to be going to make them launch Navalny or present any lenience in direction of him.”


“Russia is sure by its personal structure and by worldwide obligations to the precept of the rule of regulation and to the safety of civil rights,” Maas mentioned in an announcement. “These rules should, in fact, be utilized to Alexei Navalny as nicely. He must be launched instantly.”


Italy’s international minister Luigi Di Maio mentioned Navalny’s arrest was a “very severe matter”. “We ask for his instant launch. And we anticipate his rights to be revered”, Luigi Di Maio mentioned in a Twitter submit. Italian Economic system Minister Roberto Gualtieri on Twitter additionally known as for Navalny’s instant launch.


France’s international ministry spokeswoman, Agnes von der Muhll, mentioned in an announcement that Paris is following the scenario with “utmost vigilance”. “France takes word with nice concern of the arrest in Russia of Mr. Alexei Navalny. With its European companions, it’s following the scenario with the utmost vigilance and name for his instant launch.”

United Kingdom

It’s appalling that Alexei Navalny, the sufferer of a despicable crime, has been detained by Russian authorities. He have to be instantly launched,” UK International Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned. “Moderately than persecuting Mr Navalny Russia ought to clarify how a chemical weapon got here for use on Russian soil.”

United States

Jake Sullivan, President-elect Joe Biden’s Biden’s incoming White Home nationwide safety adviser, known as Navalny’s arrest a violation of human rights.

“Mr. Navalny must be instantly launched, and the perpetrators of the outrageous assault on his life have to be held accountable,” Sullivan mentioned on Twitter. “The Kremlin’s assaults on Mr. Navalny usually are not only a violation of human rights, however an affront to the Russian individuals who need their voices heard.”


Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki mentioned the detention of Navalny is “one other try and intimidate the democratic opposition in Russia”.

“A swift and unequivocal response on the EU degree is important. Respect for residents’ rights is the cornerstone of democracy,” Morawiecki wrote on Twitter. “I attraction to the authorities in Russia to launch the detainee instantly.” In September, Morawiecki steered that Russia was a “hostile regime” after Germany mentioned Navalny had been poisoned with a Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent.

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia

European Union member Lithuania mentioned it would ask the EU to swiftly impose new sanctions on Russia in response to the arrest of Navalny.

“We urge Russia to instantly launch Navalny and to arraign these answerable for the try on his life,” Lithuanian Minister of International Affairs Gabrielius Landsbergis mentioned in an announcement. The Lithuanian assertion, despatched to Reuters, mentioned Navalny’s arrest was in violation of human rights rules as set by the European Council. In an earlier tweet, the minister mentioned neighbouring EU international locations Latvia and Estonia would additionally work in direction of “imposition of restrictive measures” towards Russia.

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