Russia: Paris denounces an “unbearable relentlessness” against Navalny, evokes “sanctions”

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Paris | The head of the French diplomacy Jean-Yves Le Drian denounced Thursday an “unbearable relentlessness” against the Russian opponent Alexeï Navalny and agitated the threat of sanctions against Russia if he dies in prison.

“The relentlessness on Navalny is unbearable (…) He was the subject of an assassination attempt. Then he was deported. Now his life is in danger, ”said Jean-Yves Le Drian on the France 2 channel.

If the opponent dies in prison, “we will take the necessary sanctions and we will put (…) this tragedy under the responsibility of Mr. Putin and the Russian authorities”, he added.

“We must be very firm, that is to say take sanctions,” insisted the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Alexeï Navalny, sentenced in March to two and a half years in prison for a fraud case dating back to 2014 which he denounces as politically motivated, began a hunger strike more than three weeks ago to protest against his conditions of detention . His state of health greatly worries his supporters.

Russian police arrested at least 1,784 people on Wednesday during rallies in support of the main Russian opponent across Russia, specialized NGO OVD-Info said.

Alexeï Navalny was arrested as soon as he returned from Germany in January, after five months of convalescence to recover from a poisoning for which he directly accuses Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Jean-Yves Le Drian evoked a “triple drift” of Russia, an “internal authoritarian drift” in the Navalny affair, an external drift of intimidation, of provocations “on the border with Ukraine and a” drift of ‘interference because Russia is trying to undermine our democratic modus operandi ”.

Moscow has deployed more than 100,000 Russian troops near the Ukrainian border according to Brussels, for whom Moscow may well prepare a pretext to enter Ukraine, as in 2014 with the annexation of Crimea.

I do not believe in Russia’s desire to carry out military action against Ukraine, but the fact of massing so many troops at Ukraine’s gate, on the border with Donbass, presents risks of accident, d ‘incidents and at that time of conflict,’ said the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.