The head of the European Commission has condemned Russia after the detention of opposition activist Alexei Navalny.
Ursula von der Leyen said this in a statement released on Monday.
“I condemn the detention of Alexei Navalny by Russian authorities yesterday after his return to Russia. The Russian authorities must immediately release him and ensure his safety,” von der Leyen said.
She stressed that the detention of political opponents contradicts Russia’s international obligations.
“We also continue to expect a thorough and independent investigation into the attack on Alexei Navalny’s life,” von der Leyen added.
On the evening of January 17, Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny was detained at passport control at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, where he had flown from Berlin, where he was being treated after being poisoned.
The Moscow office of the Federal Penitentiary Service said that Navalny had been detained as a person on probation for evading appearances at the local penitentiary inspectorate.
The European Union and the United States sharply condemned Russia for detaining Navalny and demanded that the opposition leader be released.
The Baltic states believe that the EU should consider imposing sanctions on Russia if Navalny is not released.