Estonian Greens: Yves Rocher supporting repression of Navalny in Russia

  • 2021-02-14
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – In a request for information sent to the justice minister, the non-parliamentary Estonian Greens ask that if the cosmetics company Yves Rocher, which has gone to court against Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, is participating in political repression in Russia, should Estonia be a silent spectator of such human rights violations, especially in a situation where the company also operates in Estonia.

"Making money cannot take precedence over human rights. The Republic of Estonia cannot be a silent bystander as one of the companies operating here ignores a ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and participates in political repression in Russia. I do not think it is overwhelming for the management of this company to say openly and clearly that they have deceived everyone for years, but that it is now over -- that they recognize the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights and call for an end to repression against Alexei Navalny and other political prisoners," chairman of the party's extended board, Aleksander Laane, said, explaining why the party decided to turn to Minister of Justice Maris Lauri and ask the state to form a stance regarding the company.

"We are not so naive that we believe this company will voluntarily do something to repair the damage they have done, because there is no sign of that in their current position," Laane said, referring to the case brought by Yves Rocher against Alexei and Oleg Navalny that was deemed unfounded.

"One of the legal grounds for the persecution of Alexei Navalny is the false accusation of the French company Yves Rocher," it is said in the Greens' request for information. "In this connection, we ask the Ministry of Justice for its position on whether and how sanctions should be imposed on Yves Rocher both in Estonia and in the light of planned EU sanctions, because it is based on the false accusation and involvement of this company that flagrant human rights violations have been going on in Russia for years."

The Greens are asking for the position of the Ministry of Justice on how the possible cooperation of associations in the European Union with foreign power structures in fabricating accusations against politicians both in the territory of the European Union and outside the European Union is regulated and punishable.

"The infamous lawsuit filed by Yves Rocher's subsidiary and approved by Yves Rocher's management is being used to politically repress Alexei and Oleg Navalny and their families," Laane said in the inquiry. "As is known, the European Court of Human Rights has also clearly ruled that the decisions of the courts of the Russian Federation are unfounded and void and has ordered the Russian Federation to pay the compensation, which Russia has paid."

"However, despite the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights, Alexei Navalny has again been imprisoned using the same court case. However, Yves Rocher is showing total contempt for respect for human rights and does not want to take any responsibility for the continuing human rights violations in Russia under their name, and is lying directly and openly that their lawsuit is ordinary protection of the company's interests," the Greens said. "Moreover, the company has published on its website a list of invalid judgments of various courts in the Russian Federation, but has in no way mentioned the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights."