EU calls for immediate release of Navalny

FILE PHOTO: High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell speaks during a news conference following a meeting with Foreign Ministers at the EU headquarters, in Brussels, Belgium January 25, 2021. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell called on Russia on Tuesday to release Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny immediately, saying the verdict of the Russian court flouted Russia’s rule of law commitments.

“The sentencing of Alexey Navalny runs counter (to) Russia’s international commitments on rule of law & fundamental freedoms. It goes against the verdict of ECHR, which ruled this case arbitrary and unreasonable,” the EU high representative said in a tweet, with reference to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

“I call for his immediate release,” the tweet concluded.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Chris Reese