Kremlin promises to detain Navalny on his return to Russia

The Office of the Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) in Moscow confirmed the intention to detain Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny after his return from Germany, where he was recovering from severe poisoning.

Navalny has been in Germany since August 2020, where he was undergoing treatment and recovery after he was poisoned on a plane flying from Tomsk to Moscow.

An examination carried out in Berlin showed that Navalny was poisoned with a substance belonging to Novichok nerve agents.

After conducting their own investigation, journalists and independent investigators stated Russian special services were involved in Navalny’s poisoning.

Alexey Navalny is on a five-year probationary period, established as part of the verdict in the case of Yves Roche. This deadline expired on December 29, 2020.

"The convicted Navalny A.A. has an obligation to register with the FSIN at least twice a month, on the days set by the criminal-executive inspection, up to the expiration of the probationary period on 29.12.2020. Despite this, during 2020, the convict Navalny A.A. systematically and repeatedly violated the terms of probation. In particular, at least 6 times he did not appear at registration on: 13.01.2020, 27.01.2020, 03.02.2020, 16.03.2020, 06.07.202, 17.08.2020. Between 17.08.2020 and 29.12.2020, the convicted Navalny A.A. was not registered as well, “ FSIN’s statement reads.

At the same time, the FSIN notes that the oppositionist did not appear for registration after being discharged from the Berlin hospital, despite the notification that he was required to do so.

"Only a month later, on 23.11.2020, Navalny A.A. sent a notice to the FSIN that he lives in Berlin, in Hotel Arabel, where, according to him, he restores his health. There was no official confirmation of treatment at the hotel, and the fact of undergoing rehabilitation procedures is not a reason for not registering," UFSIN said in a statement. "Given these facts of malicious violations, guided by the principle of inevitability of responsibility and the requirements of the laws, equally equal for all without exception citizens of the Russian Federation, the UFSIN of Russia in Moscow is obliged to take all actions to detain the violator Navalny A.A. until the court's decision on the replacement of the probationary term with the real one."

Earlier, Navalny’s lawyer Vadim Kobzev said he just found out about the possible arrest of Navalny on his return to Russia.

At the same time, the lawyer expressed confidence that "it does not affect Navalny’s intention to return".

Alexey Navalny lost consciousness on August 20 on a plane flying from Tomsk to Moscow. After an emergency landing in Omsk, he was hospitalized and two days later taken to the Charite hospital in Berlin for treatment. He was in an induced coma for 19 days. Experts of the Bundeswehr special laboratory at the request of the clinic conducted a toxicological analysis of samples taken from Navalny and found traces of the nerve agent of the Novichok group. Laboratories in Sweden and France, as well as OPCW experts, came to similar conclusions independently.

The Russian authorities deny all accusations of involvement in the assassination attempt on the opposition politician. The EU and the UK imposed sanctions on October 15 for poisoning Navalny. Moscow responded by announcing the introduction of countermeasures against German and French officials. In late November, more than 50 OPCW member states called on Russia to investigate the politician's poisoning.

  Navalny, FSIN, Kremlin, Russia