Russia calls for the arrest of a relative of Navalny living abroad

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Moscow | Russian authorities on Wednesday issued a new arrest warrant targeting a close collaborator of the opponent Alexeï Navalny, an activist whom Moscow described as a traitor the day before after his call for European sanctions.

Leonid Volkov, who lives in Lithuania, was already the subject of an arrest order in Russia. Moscow’s Basmanny court told AFP that it has now been included in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) wanted database, comprising most of the former Soviet republics, allies of Russia. .

Court spokeswoman Irina Morozova said Mr. Volkov is wanted for “inciting minors to commit illegal acts”, a reference to unauthorized demonstrations in January across Russia. The offense carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.

“Here is how to react: (…) not to pay attention to it, to continue to work”, indicated the opponent on Telegram after this announcement.

Leonid Volkov had indicated Monday evening on Telegram to have “discussed with representatives of the countries of the EU” of a “package of sanctions” targeting people of the entourage of the Russian president Vladimir Poutine, to respond to the imprisonment of Alexei Navalny.

The announcement made Moscow jump, which Tuesday described as “betrayal” the fact that Russian nationals are talking with foreign countries about such measures.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov, for his part, deemed it appropriate to legislate to qualify calls for sanctions against Russia as “criminal acts”, a law in this direction being drafted.

The EU has repeatedly called for the release of Alexei Navalny, imprisoned since January 17. She also accuses Moscow of refusing to investigate the poisoning suffered by this fierce opponent of the Kremlin in August, which has led Europeans to sanction several Russian officials.

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