As top EU officials noisily demanded his release but took no concrete action, Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who was immediately arrested upon his return to Moscow after recovering in Germany from an assassination attempt, escalated his battle with President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.
Throughout the report, which was written in Navalny’s voice, there were dashes of his trademark acerbic humor.
During a debate in the European Parliament plenary on Tuesday, the EU’s high representative for foreign policy, Josep Borrell, led the West’s condemnation cavalry.
During the debate, some MEPs called for sanctioning Russian officials who participated in Navalny’s arrest or in the poisoning attack.
Navalny rose to prominence as an anti-corruption crusader, but his battle with Putin has been personal at least since 2014 when Navalny and his brother, Oleg, were convicted on trumped-up fraud charges.
Adding to the absurdity, Putin, who avoids ever uttering Navalny’s name, had taken credit during his annual news conference for allowing Navalny to leave Russia for treatment.
“Here they aren’t sticking needles with tubes in my body and aren’t connecting wires to me (at least not yet),” Navalny said. »