Keep a principled position on the situation of Alexey Navalny calling for his immediate release and a comprehensive international investigation of his poisoning

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High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy /  Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell  

Dear President Ursula von der Leyen,  

In reaction to the poisoning and arrest of Alexey Navalny, we, the undersigned Members of the European Parliament, urge you to take the appropriate restrictive measures against individuals  directly involved or enabling human rights violations in the Russian Federation. 

Alexey Navalny made it his life mission to expose crimes and the corrupt system of Vladimir Putin’s regime. Before being arrested, he identified 8 following individuals, who we demand to be included  in the European Magnitsky human rights sanctions list: Minister of Healthcare of Russia Mikhail  Murashko, Minister of Agriculture of Russia Dmitry Patrushev, Chairman of the State Development  Corporation VEB.RF Igor Shuvalov, oligarchs Roman Abramovich and Alisher Usmanov, President  and Chairman of the Management Board of VTB Bank Andrey Kostin, Deputy President and  Chairman of VTB Bank Management Board Denis Bortnikov and media personality Vladimir  Solovyev. 

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that charges against Alexey Navalny are politically  motivated and in violation of his rights. The same applies to his current arrest over bogus charges of  violating the terms of parole. It would be much welcome if similar energy and resources that were mobilized to arrest Mr Navalny would be directed towards investigation of his poisoning with a rare military-grade nerve agent Novichok.  

We entrust you to keep a principled position on the situation of Alexey Navalny calling for his immediate release and a comprehensive international investigation of his poisoning. Targeted  European Magnitsky sanctions against grave human rights violations in Russia should not leave any  doubts about the seriousness of the EU’s stand.  

The extensive use of power in many countries, in Russia in particular, appropriation and use of national funds for repressions against citizens, once again brings to our attention the need to include  corruption among the acts punishable by the European Magnitsky human rights sanctions mechanism. We call upon the Commission to initiate such amendment to the European Magnitsky Act.  

Sincerely,

Petras Auštrevičius, Renew Europe  

Anna Fotyga, ECR  

Raphaël Glucksmann, S&D 

Miriam Lexmann, EPP

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