European Union member Lithuania said on Sunday it will ask the European Union to swiftly impose new sanctions on Russia in response to the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
Police detained Navalny on arrival at a Moscow airport on Sunday after he flew home to Russia from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned last summer.
“We urge Russia to immediately release Navalny and to arraign those responsible for the attempt on his life,” Lithuanian foreign affairs minister Gabrielius Landsbergis said in a statement.
The Lithuanian statement, sent to Reuters, said Navalny’s arrest was in volation of human rights principles as set by the European Council.
In an earlier tweet, the minister said neighboring EU countries Latvia and Estonia will also work towards “imposition of restrictive measures” against Russia.
Navalny says President Vladimir Putin was behind his poisoning. The Kremlin denies involvement, says it has seen no evidence that he was poisoned, and that he was free to return to Russia.
Meanwhile, lawyers for Alexei Navalny on Monday said they have not been granted access to him since the Kremlin critic was detained on his return to Russia on Sunday, and that his condition was unknown.
Police detained Navalny on arrival in Moscow on Sunday after he flew home from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned last summer, triggering a political clash with the West.
Main Photo: A still image taken from a handout video footage posted by Kira Yarmysh, press-secretary of Alexei Navalny, on Twitter shows Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny (C), during his detention by officers of the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow, Russia, 17 January 2021. EPA-EFE/KIRA YARMYSH