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Polish president urges EU to step up sanctions on Russia: FT

25.01.2021 09:35
Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has urged the European Union to step up its sanctions on Russia in the wake of the summary arrest and jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Financial Times has reported.
Protest in support of Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday.
Protest in support of Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday.Photo: EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

In an interview with the British newspaper, Duda said that talk of further sanctions was “absolutely justified” given both the treatment of Navalny and Russia’s continued involvement in unresolved conflicts in both Georgia and Ukraine, where it annexed Crimea in 2014.

“There is no other peaceful tool for applying pressure to a state that breaks the rules of international law,” Duda was quoted as saying.

“The primacy of international law is fundamental here,” he added.

President Andrzej Duda speaks after a Cabinet Council meeting with members of Poland's government in Warsaw on Friday, Sept. 4, 2020. Polish President Andrzej Duda. Photo: Grzegorz Jakubowski/KPRP

Protests flared across Russia on Saturday after Navalny, Vladimir Putin's most prominent critic, was detained last week on his return from Germany, where he received treatment after surviving a poisoning attempt involving a military-grade nerve agent, the Financial Times reported.

It said more than 2,000 demonstrators were arrested during an often violent crackdown by Russian security services.

Russian police detain a protester during a demo in support of Alexei Navalny, in Moscow on Saturday. Russian riot police detain a protester during a demo in support of Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

'EU needs unity and determination': Polish FM

Poland's foreign ministry said on Saturday that it was concerned over Russia's "reaction against peaceful demonstrators."

It called on Poland's giant neighbor to the east to "stop the violation of human rights."

Foreign Minister Minister Zbigniew Rau tweeted: “Under such circumstances, the EU needs unity and determination.”

EU foreign ministers are due to discuss their response to Navalny's detention on Monday.

Polish lawmakers last week passed a resolution calling on Russia to stop “repression” against Navalny and his associates.

They also urged the Russian authorities to immediately release the anti-corruption activist.

(gs/pk)

Source: PAP, ft.com