RIGA - The coming days will show just how widespread the Russian people are dissatisfied with what is taking place in their country after the arrest of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny, European Parliament Member Sandra Kalniete (New Unity) told Latvian Radio this morning.
According to her, it is still difficult to understand how large a section of Russian society is dissatisfied at the action of the Kremlin and are prepared to show their dissatisfaction in public.
"Navalny has called on the Russian people to protest against such arbitrariness of power. The important question, I think, is that in the coming days it will be clear to us whether they are just current supporters of Navalny or whether the outrage is much broader and there will be more massive protests," said the MEP, noting that no one is likely to be able to answer this question at the moment.
According to her, it is not yet clear "to what extent Russia has entered such a mental state typical of dictatorships". According to the politician, the live arrest of Navalny confirms that "there are no more borders that the Kremlin is not ready to cross." At the same time, she shares Navalny's statement that what is happening confirms the Russian authorities' own fears for their own security, so by such acts it tries to instill fear in the population so that they do not dare to go against the prevailing order.
Kalniete is convinced that the European Union (EU) should impose sanctions on Russia in this situation, both against those who ordered the arrest of Navalny and allowed his illegal arrest, and against those who ordered the disappearance and arrest of opposition supporters at the airport.
As reported, Foreign ministers from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have called on the European Union to press Russia to release Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Gabrielius Landsbergis, Edgars Rinkevics and Urmas Reinsalu "sent a letter to the High Representative Josep Borrell calling on the EU to step up its efforts to pressure Russia to release Alexei Navalny," the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry said in a press release on Monday.
The ministers also asked "the Foreign Affairs Council to address the issue at the meeting on 25 January and to consider the possibility of introducing restrictive measures," it said.
Navalny was arrested at Moscow’s airport as he returned to Russia from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned with a nerve agent in August and flown to Berlin for treatment.