The team of Alexei Navalny, the sworn enemy of President Vladimir Putin, has asked the European Union to apply sanctions against senior Russian officials and other officials involved in the relentless persecution suffered by the opposition in the country and those who take to the streets in demand for a turnaround in Kremlin politics and freedom for political prisoners. Navalny collaborators contemplate, astonished, the existing division in the EU about the measures that, according to them, should be applied to Russia for “violating fundamental rights, such as demonstration” or opening criminal cases “without legal basis” against the main opponent Russian and other members of the leadership of his organization.
Meanwhile, Maria Zajarova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, declared that “the European Union wanted to publicly scourge Russia during Josep Borrell’s visit to Moscow, but it didn’t work.” “It was about talking about demonstrations, about journalists, making Navalni the key issue. He was trying to knead all that, pour it out and then leave happy, but it didn’t work. As he recounted on the social network Telegram, the person in charge of sending the request for sanctions against Moscow to be decreed to Brussels has been Leonid Volkov, a close associate of Navalny. In his words, the scope of the sanctions will still have to be specified with the EU, but the proposal is that they be directed against people from Putin’s “close circle”, involved in the current campaign to neutralize the opposition.
Volkov quotes, among others, the director of the Federal Security Service (FSB, former KGB), Alexander Bórtnikov, billionaires such as Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov, the television presenter, Vladimir Soloviov, the true scourge of Navalny and his followers, and the Minister of Health Mikhail Murashko, who is accused of having given orders to “hide” the poisoning of Navalny when he was admitted to a hospital in Omsk in August and “to hinder efforts” to send him to Germany for treatment. The list of possible sanctions contains some thirty names and is the same that at the end of January was also sent to the US president, Joe Biden, by another of the people close to Navalny, Vladimir Ashurkov, executive director of the Anti-Corruption Fund (FBK), the platform created by Navalny to expose the illicit practices of the Russian elite.
MORE ACTS OF SUPPORT
As reported yesterday, Volkov and Ashurkov held a meeting by videoconference on Monday with the Polish delegation to the EU, whose members have assured that “the permanent representatives of the 27, together with the ambassadors of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Ukraine, are discussing the next steps to be taken.
Zajárova denounced yesterday before the cameras of the Russian Channel One that Navalni’s collaborators “receive instructions directly from NATO to destabilize Russia, they are not opposition, they are agents of influence of that military bloc” of the West. The Russian Foreign spokeswoman lamented that Navalny supporters “have organized more actions for Sunday 14”. Volkov called yesterday to the population of the big cities of Russia to a ‘flashmob’, going out to patios, balconies, and windows at eight in the afternoon in support of the opposition leader.