Navalny's death: "We will summon the Russian ambassador today," says PM De Croo

Belgium will summon the Russian ambassador today, prime minister Alexander De Croo (Open VLD) announced on Radio 1 on Tuesday morning. Like other European countries, Belgium is demanding an explanation for the death of Alexei Navalny and the release of his body.

"We informed the Russian ambassador yesterday that we would summon him. That will be the case today," he said. The French and Dutch foreign ministers also announced that the Russian ambassador would be summoned, as did Sweden, Germany, Spain and the Baltic states.

Additional sanctions

On Monday, Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib (MR) received Navalny's widow, Yulia Navalnaya, in Brussels, where she attended a meeting of European foreign ministers. During the meeting, several countries called for additional sanctions to be imposed on Russia in response to the opposition leader's death.

The European Union wants Russia to allow an international investigation into Navalny's death. "Russia must allow an independent and transparent international investigation into circumstances of his sudden death", said a statement issued by Borrell on behalf of the EU.

"The EU will spare no efforts to hold Russia’s political leadership and authorities to account, in close coordination with our partners; and impose further costs for their actions, including through sanctions."

Putin is responsible for Navalny's death

Navalny died on Friday in the prison where he was being held. Little is known about the circumstances of his death. But few doubt that the Russian regime is involved in the dissident's death. "The Russian authorities will tell their own story, but make no mistake: Putin is responsible for Navalny's death," said US President Joe Biden, among others.


Yulia Navalnaya pictured after an Informal gathering of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU, organized by the Council of the European Union in Brussels, Monday 19 February 2024. © ​ BELGA PHOTO DIRK WAEM

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