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Vladimir Putin denies owning a palace, Navalny team calls for further protests

Despite attempts at destabilization, the opposition did not weaken against the Russian power. Supporters of jailed opponent Alexei Navalny called for further protests across the country next Sunday. For his part, the Russian President, Vladimir Poutine, denied, Monday, January 25, to be the owner of a sumptuous residence, as accuses Alexeï Navalny.

The opponent presented, on January 19, on YouTube, a documentary entitled A Palace for Putin. This investigation, which totals 86 million views, relates to a secret presidential palace on the shores of the Black Sea, financed by the “friends” of Mr. Putin. “I haven’t seen this film for lack of time. Nothing that is shown in it as being my property belongs to me or to my relatives ”, said the head of state during a televised meeting with Russian students about the film.

This statement by the Russian president comes two days after nationwide protests of an unprecedented scale organized to demand the release of Alexey Navalny. These protests brought together more than 20,000 people in Moscow, a record in several years for unauthorized action, but they also provoked a massive mobilization in more than 100 Russian provincial towns, usually less quick to mobilize.

The mobilization was amplified by the dissemination of this investigation which accuses the Russian president of having had a palace built for himself which cost more than a billion dollars.

  • New mobilization for the liberation of Navalny

Mr Navalny was arrested on his return to Russia on Jan. 17 after five months of convalescence in Germany recovering from suspected poisoning with Novichok, a Soviet-designed nerve agent.

The opponent’s team called for a new day of action for next Sunday: “January 31, 12 noon. All cities of Russia. For the liberation of Navalny. For everyone’s freedom. For justice ”, wrote on Twitter a close ally of Mr. Navalny, Leonid Volkov.

If the demonstrators are numerous, “Our demands will sound more powerful”, Mr. Volkov said. He specified that this date had been chosen because it is the closest to February 2, the day of the appearance of Alexey Navalny before a Moscow court. He must decide whether the three-and-a-half-year suspended prison sentence received in 2014 will be transformed into a prison sentence for violation of his judicial review.

  • Europe is considering sanctions

The Europeans decided on Monday to dispatch their diplomacy representative, Josep Borrell, to Moscow in early February and are considering adopting sanctions if the Russian president continues crackdown on the opposition, Agence France informed. Press several diplomatic sources.

“Josep Borrell will visit Moscow at the beginning of February with a clear message from the EU and he will report on the situation in Russia at the next meeting of EU foreign ministers on February 22”, explained one of these diplomats.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Political violence, impunity, absence of justice… What the Navalny affair reveals about the Putin system

The European Union (EU) demands the immediate release of opponent Alexei Navalny and his supporters arrested during protests in Russia on Saturday. The adoption of sanctions was discussed on Monday by foreign ministers, but they ruled “Premature” to resort to this option, underlined one of them.

“Sanctions are a possible tool, but we have to wait and see what is happening in Moscow”, added another diplomat. The EU has sanctioned several members of the Russian president’s entourage for their alleged involvement in the attempted assassination of Mr. Navalny.

Read the analysis: The Kremlin, prisoner of Alexeï Navalny

The World with AFP

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