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France summons Russian ambassador over Navalny death

Paris has summoned Russia’s ambassador to France after the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in an Arctic prison, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne said Monday during a visit to Argentina.

Norway’s foreign ministry has also said it is calling on its top Russian diplomat “for a talk” about Navalny’s death.

“In the conversation, Norwegian views will be conveyed about Russian authorities’ responsibility for the death and for facilitating a transparent investigation,” Norway said, adding that the meeting had not yet taken place but would do so shortly.

It followed similar announcements earlier Monday by Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands that they have summoned diplomats from Russian embassies.

Navalny’s death in a remote prison in the Arctic, where the 47-year-old was serving a 19-year sentence after surviving a 2020 poisoning that he blamed on the Kremlin, was announced Friday.

“The regime of Vladimir Putin has once again shown its true nature,” France’s Séjourné said Monday.

Western countries have unanimously pointed blame at the Russian authorities for his death, three years into his sentence, which deprives the opposition of its most prominent figure a month ahead of presidential elections that are expected to enhance Putin’s firm grip on power.

Political prisoners

The “Wall of Grief” was erected in memory of people who died during Soviet-era repression.

EU reaction

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