Navalny urged the European Union not to recognize the upcoming elections to the Russian parliament
Putin talks Belarus future with EU leaders | DW News
Together with Navalny, several more Russian oppositionists are participating in the online discussion.
Russian opposition figures, including Alexei Navalny, who is currently recovering from the poisoning, take part in a discussion on Friday in the European Parliament’s international affairs committee. The discussion is taking place online in connection with quarantine restrictions, reports Radio Liberty.
In addition to Navalny, Vladimir Milov, Ilya Yashin and Vladimir Kara-Murza are taking part in the discussion.
Navalny spoke in English. He called on the European Union to develop a new strategy for relations with Russia. He called the current authorities of Russia “a group of criminals who temporarily seized power.” Navalny called on the EU not to recognize the results of the elections to the State Duma, which will be held next year, if everyone is not allowed to participate in them. Talking about sanctions, Navalny said that the European Union should focus on the sources of income for people from Vladimir Putin’s entourage, including the so-called oligarchs. He mentioned the names of billionaires Alisher Usmanov, Roman Abramovich, as well as the Rotenberg family as examples of people against whom sanctions should be imposed..
Navalny, according to Agence France-Presse, during his speech also called the search for political motives in Moscow’s actions erroneous, arguing that the Russian elite is simply interested in money..
“The Russian state should be treated like a bunch of criminals who have temporarily seized power,” he said, urging Europe to support the Russian people..
He called on Brussels not to recognize the results of the parliamentary elections in Russia, which will be held next year, and, according to him, will certainly be rigged..
Vladimir Kara-Murza recalled the murder of Boris Nemtsov and, like Navalny, noted the importance of access for all opposition forces to the elections. “If Putin is so popular, why is he afraid of free elections?” – he asked a question.
Vladimir Milov noted that Putin has a legitimacy problem: the Russian authorities claim that Vladimir Putin is supported by the majority of the country’s residents, but in reality this is not the case. He reiterated Navalny’s thesis that if opposition forces are not admitted to the elections in Russia, the elections cannot be considered legitimate. According to Milov, the situation in Russia is similar to the situation in Belarus, where Alexander Lukashenko has also lost his legitimacy..
Ilya Yashin said that Putin is investing heavily in propaganda aimed at the European Union and seeks to corrupt European politicians. He urged Europeans not to trade human rights and democratic values for deals with the Kremlin. Yashin also called for the replacement of economic sanctions against Russia with sanctions against people from Putin’s entourage – and personally the Russian president.
In September, after the poisoning of Navalny, the European Parliament approved a resolution in which it blamed the Russian authorities for the assassination attempt on the politician. The deputies called for an international investigation of the incident, as well as for the imposition of sanctions, including against the heroes of the investigations of the Anti-Corruption Fund, created by Navalny.
The Russian authorities do not officially recognize the fact of the poisoning, and some of their representatives claim that this is a provocation of the Western countries. Experts in Germany and other countries, and then in the International Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, came to the conclusion that Navalny’s body was exposed to a poisonous substance from the Novichok group, that is, chemical weapons. Navalny is now in Germany, where he was taken out for treatment in August..
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