European Council president Charles Michel on Sunday condemned the detention of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, urging the Russian authorities to free him after he was arrested at a Moscow airport.
“The detainment of Alexey Navalny upon arrival in Moscow is unacceptable. I call on Russian authorities to immediately release him,” Michel wrote on Twitter.
The EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell echoed the call for Navalny to be freed following his arrest, which came as the anti-corruption campaigner returned to Moscow for the first time since his poisoning in August.
“Russian authorities must respect Alexei Navalny’s rights and release him immediately. Politicisation of the judiciary is unacceptable,” Borrell tweeted.
Navalny, 44, had flown into to Moscow from Berlin, where he spent months recovering from a nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin.
Western experts concluded he was poisoned with Soviet-designed nerve toxin Novichok. The Kremlin denies any involvement in the attack.