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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Polish PM calls for release of Kremlin critic Navalny

18.01.2021 00:10
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has called for the release of prominent Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny after he was arrested on his return to Moscow.
An image taken from video footage posted by Alexei Navalnys press secretary on Twitter showing the Kremlin critic (2nd right) during his detention at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
An image taken from video footage posted by Alexei Navalny’s press secretary on Twitter showing the Kremlin critic (2nd right) during his detention at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. Image: EPA/KIRA YARMYSH

"The detention of Alexei Navalny is another attempt to intimidate the democratic opposition in Russia. A quick and unequivocal response at the EU level is essential,” Morawiecki wrote on Twitter on Sunday evening.

He added: “Respect for civil rights is the cornerstone of democracy. I appeal to the authorities in Russia to immediately release the detainee.”

Police arrested Navalny on arrival in Moscow on Sunday after he flew home to Russia from Germany, where he had been treated, for the first time since he was poisoned last summer.

The Reuters news agency reported that the move, which could see Navalny jailed for 3.5 years for allegedly flouting the terms of a suspended prison sentence, could reignite political pressure on the West to tighten sanctions on Moscow, especially against the contested USD 11.6 billion Nord Stream 2 project to build a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany.

In a case that drew wide international attention, Navalny was poisoned last summer by what German military tests showed was a Novichok nerve agent, a version of events the Kremlin rejects.

(pk)

Source: IAR/Reuters