The European Union’s foreign chief is discussing with people around the Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny whether he can visit him in prison.
Josep Borrell will travel to Moscow on Thursday to speak with the Russian Foreign Minister, among others.
Several EU countries want Borrell to cancel his visit to Russia, now that the Kremlin is cracking down on protesters who stand up for Navalny.
Travelling to Moscow nevertheless gives the impression that the EU does not take the poison murder attack and imprisonment of Navalny and the crackdown on demonstrations so seriously, according to many MEPs.
But the visit continues, says a Borrell spokesman. The EU’s highest-ranking diplomat will “broach the unacceptable persistent widespread incarceration and coercion against people who are in fact trying to express their political views”. It is precisely to expose abuses that it is necessary to remain in the conversation, Borrell said earlier.
It depends on Russia whether Borrell gets the chance to visit Navalny, the spokesman said.