Foreign Ministry stresses to Russian representative responsibility of Russia's political leadership for Navalny's death

  • 2024-02-20
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - On Monday, the Charge d'Affaires, a.i., of the Embassy of the Russian Federation was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in order to express to him the indignation and condemnation over the death of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in prison, LETA was told at the Foreign Ministry.

The Russian representative was told that Russia's political leadership and authorities are directly responsible for persecuting Navalny and bringing him to death in prison. What happened is a politically motivated retaliation against the most prominent leader of Russia’s opposition, the Foreign Ministry said. 

It was pointed out to Russia’s official representative that Russia must ensure an independent and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding Navalny’s death, while officials responsible for Navalny's death must be held accountable.

Navalny was kept in prison since February 2021 after he had decided to return to Russia following his poisoning and subsequent treatment in Germany. Navalny was given several prison sentences on politically motivated charges. In detention, he was subjected to inhumane physical and psychological conditions for extended periods of time. It was an act directly targeting his political activism and publicly expressed views that differed from those of the authorities.

Navalny's systemic persecution over several years and bringing him to premature death have been aimed at stamping out civic activism so as to reduce the manifestations of alternative opinions in Russia. Many of his associates and allies were forced to leave Russia as a result of lawsuits brought or risks to their personal safety. 

In Russia, the persecution continues of a number of Navalny’s allies who remained in the country. Latvia condemns those actions by Russia and calls for the release of all political prisoners. Russian authorities must also release the people who were detained as they attended the events in memory of Navalny. His family and supporters must be given the opportunity to mourn him with dignity, the Foreign Ministry said.

In response to Navalny’s death, Latvia supports the imposition of additional international sanctions on Russia to facilitate its further international isolation.

In addition, at the meeting the Russian representative was also notified of the common position of the Baltic states on the issue of the Russian presidential elections.