The EU has called on Moscow to release Navalny

Russian politician Alexei Navalny / EPA photo

The European Union called on Moscow to release him immediately Alexei Navalny, the loudest critic of the Russian president Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, who was imprisoned exactly one year ago in what the EU condemned as a politically motivated act, reports Reuters.

"Today marks one year since the arrest and imprisonment of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny following his return to Russia from medical treatment in Berlin following an assassination attempt on Russian territory. "We reiterate our call on the Russian authorities for his immediate and unconditional release without further delay," the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said in a statement. Joseph Borrell.

Borrell also condemned what he said was a consistent disinformation campaign against Navalny and his associates in the Russian state media, as well as the persecution of members of the opposition leader's network.

Russian authorities have in recent months cracked down on groups linked to Navalny, 45, who is serving two and a half years in prison for violating parole in a fraud case he says was politically motivated.

In June, a Russian court ruled that Navalny's anti-corruption foundation was "extremist".

Navalny was taken to Germany for medical treatment in August 2020 after being poisoned in Siberia by, as Western experts have concluded, the military nerve agent Novichok.

The Russian government has denied the allegations in a statement issued Friday stating "Similar, baseless allegations concerning Russia's nuclear program have been made more than once.

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