The foreign ministers of the European Union member states have raised their concern over Russia's response to mass protests in support of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. Vice-President of the European Commission, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell wrote about this on Twitter page.
“Following unfolding events in Russia with concern. I deplore widespread detentions, disproportionate use of force, cutting down internet and phone connections,” Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, wrote on Twitter.
Borrell said the EU foreign ministers will discuss “next steps” on the issue at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday.
On Saturday, January 23, rallies began in various cities of Russia. Tens of thousands of people gathered to protest Navalny’s detention, demanding his immediate release.
As we reported earlier, the rally in support of Russian politician also took place near the building of the Russian embassy, in Solomyansky district of the Ukrainian capital. The rally was attended by about 30 people.
Navalny returned to Russia on January 17. Officers of the search department of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia detained him right after his plane landed in Moscow.
Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, had spent the previous five months in Germany recovering from a nerve agent attack that he blamed on the Kremlin. Navalny decided to leave Berlin of his own free will and wasn’t under any apparent pressure to leave Germany.
A number of countries have already condemned Russia's actions and called for additional sanctions against the country.