EU-Russia relations: MEPs to hold a debate with Alexei Navalny

Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs will exchange views with prominent Russian opposition figures, including Alexei Navalny, on Friday 27 November at 11.00 CET.

Mr Navalny is one of Russia’s most high-profile opposition politicians, an anti-corruption activist and an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin. He collapsed on 20 August whilst aboard a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow. Lab tests carried out in different countries and confirmed by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) have since concluded that he was poisoned with a nerve agent in the Novichok family.

Following the attack, Mr Navalny was airlifted to Germany for medical treatment and recovered from the assassination attempt. On Friday, he is expected to brief Members on the Foreign Affairs Committee on the political and socio-economic situation in Russia in view of next year’s parliamentary elections.

Participating via videoconference, Mr Navalny will be joined by:

  • Vladimir Kara-Murza, Chairman of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation. Vice President of the Free Russia Foundation;
  • Vladimir Milov, politician, publicist, economist and energy expert. Former Deputy Minister of Energy of Russia;
  • Ilya Yashin, politician. Head of the Krasnoselsky Municipality.

More information

On 17 September, the European Parliament adopted a resolution that strongly condemned the assassination attempt on Alexei Navalny. The text noted that the poison used, belonging to the “Novichok group”, can only be developed in state-owned military laboratories and not by private individuals, which strongly suggests that Russian authorities were behind the attack. MEPs also called for an international investigation into the case.

Russia’s next legislative election is expected to be held no later than 19 September 2021 to elect the 450 seats for the 8th convocation of the State Duma, the lower house of the Federal Assembly.

The meeting

WHEN: Friday, 27 November, at 11.00 CET.