Statement on Putin’s Russia: the sentencing of Alexei Navalny

2021-02-02 | Russia

By Andrius Kubilius, MEP, Chair of the European Parliament’s Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, Standing Rapporteur on Russia 


Today, the Putin’s regime waged another attack against his people. It disrespected the rule of law, universal values of human rights and the principles of democracy.

In these circumstances, let me express our solidarity with the fearless people of Russia, who are living in a moment of change, not afraid anymore of threats and intimidations constantly spread by the regime.

At first, the regime attempted to poison Alexei Navalny. Then, upon his arrival in Moscow, Navalny was arrested for staying alive. Today, Alexei Navalny was sentenced to jail for his honesty and belief that Russia will soon become free from kleptocracy.

Today’s decision of the Moscow District Court is illegal and void. It goes against the ruling of ECHR and against the Constitution of the Russian Federation. Even Stalin would envy such a cynicism Putin is using against his opponents.

The Putin’s regime is desperate. It has launched systemic attacks on opposition by using poisoning, imprisonment, intimidation, torture and other means of persecution. The regime, which on Sunday has arrested more than 5000 peaceful demonstrators, is waging a real war against its own people.

The Putin’s regime is afraid. It is afraid of its own People. It is afraid of 2021 Parliamentary elections in Russia. It knows, that one can try stealing from Russian people the hope or the elections, but one will not steal their determination for change.

The majority of Russians, if they were given an opportunity, would be choosing another Russia without Putin, without political prisoners and free from corruption. Cynically, by attacking Navalny and waging the war against the people, Putin is doing everything possible to put under the question the legitimacy of 2021 Parliamentary elections.

Putin is following the footsteps of dictator Lukashenko. He is sharing with Lukashenko the same fear that the end of the two dictatorships is inevitable.

This leaves international community no more illusions about Putin and his regime. The EU and its transatlantic partners will have no choice, but to use all their power of targeted and sectoral sanctions to defend the people of Russia.

The EU will have to act urgently. The inaction would be only provoking Putin’s regime to dive deeper into brutality of the war against the people of Russia. The EU will have to revise its policy on Russia in order to promote universal values of human rights and democracy together with international partners, including at the Global Summit of Democracies.