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Canada Navalny: European diplomats expelled, relations at the "lowest" with Russia

01:25  06 february  2021
01:25  06 february  2021 Source:   lepoint.fr

Relatives of the opponent Navalny detained after searches

 Relatives of the opponent Navalny detained after searches © NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA A Russian policeman in the lobby of the building housing the offices of the Anti-Corruption Fund, the organization of Russian opponent Alexei Navalny, January 27, 202 Several relatives of the imprisoned Russian opponent Alexei Navalny were taken into custody on Thursday, before a court examining an appeal against his own arrest and a few days before new protests planned throughout the country.

EU's foreign affairs chief visits Russia amid Navalny jailing fallout. The EU's foreign affairs chief has said relations with Russia are at their lowest level because of Alexei Navalny 's poisoning and subsequent European leaders, including Borrell himself, swiftly condemned the verdict and called for Both diplomats proposed reinvigorating The Quartet -- comprising the UN, the US, the EU and

Russia expelled three European diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden for their active support for Alexei Navalny . According to EU Observer, citing sources in the EU, Moscow has timed the expulsion of diplomats to the time of the press conference by the head of European diplomacy At the very beginning of the meeting, Borrell told Lavrov that relations between the European Union and Russia were going through truly difficult times after the Navalny poisoning. "Our relations are obviously extremely tense now, and the crisis with Navalny is their the lowest point," Borrell stressed.

  Navalny: des diplomates européens expulsés, les relations au © Supplied by Le Point

L a Russia announced on Friday that it was expelling European diplomats for having taken part in demonstrations in favor of the imprisoned opponent Alexeï Navalny , after talks in Moscow which showed, according to the EU representative, relations "at the bottom".

A few hours after talks between the head of Russian diplomacy Sergey Lavrov and that of the European Union, Josep Borrell , in Moscow, Russia demanded the departure of diplomats from Germany , Poland and from Sweden.

Mr Borrell "strongly condemned" these expulsions and "rejected Russia's claims" about diplomats.

The "unjustified" expulsion of diplomats shows "an additional facet of what is currently happening in Russia and which has little to do with the rule of law", lambasted German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, during a joint press conference with Emmanuel Macron.

Kremlin digs into 'toolkit of intimidation' to try to suppress Navalny supporters

  Kremlin digs into 'toolkit of intimidation' to try to suppress Navalny supporters The Putin government is going after jailed anti-corruption crusader Alexei Navalny every way it can, using the full arsenal of its police, judiciary and propaganda outlets to vilify him ahead of more anti-government protests set for this weekend.So, instead, the Russian opposition leader used his appearance Thursday via video conference to go over the heads of his jailers — and the Putin government — to send a message of encouragement to his supporters ahead of rallies his team has called for Sunday.

Josep Borrell condemned Russia 's move to expel European diplomats on Friday in an interview with Euronews. The EU's top diplomat said that he learned of the news during his meeting with Russia 's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow. "During my meeting with Minister Lavrov I got news that three Tens of thousands of Russians protested last weekend in support of the Kremlin critic who was detained upon returning to Russia from Germany after recovering from being poisoned. While Borrell said that EU- Russia relations are at their lowest level, the bloc is not planning on issuing sanctions.

Navalny ’s team has published a list of 35 Russian business and political elites they want the West to target with hard-hitting asset freezes and travel bans. Leonid Volkov, the Kremlin critic’s key aide, based in Lithuania and therefore one of the few members of Navalny ’s team not behind bars at the moment, said their key goal is “to increase pressure on Putin from both inside and outside Russia .” But experts tracking the West’s relations with Russia doubt that governments will back up their swift condemnations with a tough policy response. Securocrats and siloviki.

The French president said himself "totally in line and in solidarity (with Germany) on what is happening in Russia" and condemned the expulsion "with the greatest firmness".

The head of German diplomacy Heiko Maas has meanwhile threatened Russia with reprisals if it "does not reconsider this measure".

Sweden denounced a measure "completely unfounded", while Poland warned that Moscow's decision risked damaging bilateral relations.

The presence of diplomats at gatherings "illegal on January 23" in support of Mr. Navalny in St. Petersburg and Moscow is "unacceptable and incompatible with their status", said the Russian authorities.

This announcement illustrates the state of Russian-European tensions, while Mr. Borrell, from Moscow, denounced the imprisonment of Mr. Navalny and the repression of demonstrations in his favor.

Navalny to serve 2.8 years in Russian prison, drawing international condemnation

  Navalny to serve 2.8 years in Russian prison, drawing international condemnation Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Marc Garneau said Canada was "appalled" by the decision to imprison Navalny.The sentence handed down by the court was for three and a half years in prison, but the Simonovsky District Court reduced Navalny's prison time to two years and eight months because he had already served one year under house arrest.

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny appeared in court again in Moscow on Friday, in a separate case from the one earlier this week that saw him sent to prison. In this trial, heard at the capital's Babushkinskiy District court, the dissident faces charges of slandering a World War II veteran. The Russian Investigative Committee maintained that the opposition figure's comments "denigrate the honour and dignity" of a World War II veteran featured in the video. The veteran defended last year's referendum reinforcing Putin's presidential powers. If convicted, Navalny faces a fine or community

Six European Union states including Poland and the Baltics are pushing for new EU sanctions on Russian officials after the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and a police crackdown, three diplomats said. Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Romania called for travel bans and asset freezes on more Russian individuals, on The EU, which last year agreed ways to adopt sanctions for rights abuses more quickly, was swift to condemn Navalny 's arrest on his return to Russia late last month from Germany, where he was recovering from a poisoning in Russia in August.

Relations "severely strained"

"It is certain that our relations are severely strained and the Navalny affair is a lower one", observed Josep Borrell, facing Mr. Lavrov, reiterating his call for the release of the opponent and to "launching an impartial investigation into his poisoning".

Mr. Borrell stressed that "questions of the rule of law, human rights, civil society and political freedoms" would remain at the heart of the Russo-European relationship, even if Russia sees it as an interference. unacceptable.

US President Joe Biden has also strongly criticized Russia, in particular for his treatment of Alexey Navalny, remarks described as "very aggressive" by the Kremlin.

Sworn enemy of the current Russian power, the 44-year-old opponent was sentenced Tuesday to two years and eight months in prison for violating a judicial review while he was recovering in Germany after poisoning in Siberia.

Russia: Alexeï Navalny calls to "overcome fear" and liberate the country

 Russia: Alexeï Navalny calls to © Provided by Le Point L The Kremlin does not seem able to muzzle Alexeï Navalny despite his detention. The Russian opponent, whose sentence this week to nearly three years in prison sparked firmly repressed protests, in fact called on Thursday, February 4, 2021, his supporters to "overcome fear?" "And"? Release? " Russia of"? Thieves? " in power. "? They can hold on to power and use it for personal enrichment by relying solely on our fear.

Russia ’s permanent mission to the European Union has addressed a number of questions to the members of the European Parliament and EU institutions concerning the situation around Russian opposition blogger Alexey Navalny and pointed to numerous inconsistencies in the poisoning theory. Speaker of the Russian State Duma lower parliament house Vyacheslav Volodin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel earlier on Tuesday that the Navalny affair was a provocation staged by Western nations led by the United States geared to hamper Russia ’s development.

A court in Kirov has handed a suspended five-year prison sentence to Aleksey Navalny after finding him guilty of embezzlement in the Kirovles case. The other defendant in the retried case, Pyotr Ofitserov, was sentenced to four years in prison. His sentence was suspended, too. "We do not recognize this sentence. It will be overturned. I will participate in elections. Right now I am taking part in an election campaign," he said. "This sentence violates the European Court’s verdict. That verdict has not been enforced. We are expecting the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to react

accuses him of the authorities of wanting to silence him. This summer, he survived this poisoning for which he holds President Vladimir Putin responsible. The EU has adopted sanctions against Russian officials in the face of Moscow's refusal to investigate.

Friday, Mr. Borrell clarified that no new sanction had been proposed "for the moment".

Despite everything, MM. Borrell and Lavrov pleaded for cooperation in less thorny areas, citing the example of the Russian anti-Covid vaccine, Sputnik V, "good news for mankind", according to the European.

Navalny back in court

The arrest of the opponent on his return from convalescence sparked protests across the country.

Numerous NGOs, Russian media and Western countries denounced the brutal repression which followed and led to some 10,000 arrests punctuated by police violence.

The opponent was again in court on Friday, accused of defaming a veteran of the Second World War who had defended in a campaign clip last summer, a constitutional reform which strengthened the powers of Mr. Putin.

He had qualified the speakers in this video as "shame of the Nation" and "traitors".

Mr. Navalny, who risks a heavy fine or even a prison sentence, denounces a political accusation.

"The criminal proceedings against Navalny are linked only to his political activity, to his criticism of the activities of Vladimir Poutine", pleaded his lawyer Vadim Kobzev.

A next hearing is scheduled for February 12.

In addition to this file, the opponent is the target of an investigation for fraud, an offense punishable by ten years in prison.

Most of his close associates have been arrested or placed under house arrest.

05/02/2021 22:40:50 - Moscow (AFP) - © 2021 AFP

Germany, Sweden and Poland retaliate against Russia and expel diplomats .
© Copyright 2021, L'Obs Diplomatic relations between Europe and Russia become even more strained . Germany, Sweden and Poland hit back on Monday (February 8) by expelling Russian diplomats in retaliation against a similar measure targeting diplomats accused of demonstrating in favor of opponent Alexei Navalny.

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