Press Release

Belgium summons Russia's Ambassador and calls for an independent enquiry into the death of Alexei Navalny

At the request of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Belgium, H.E. Alexander Tokovinin, was summoned this afternoon to the FPS Foreign Affairs.

On behalf of the Minister, the Director General for Bilateral Affairs informed him that Belgium is requesting an independent enquiry to establish the causes of Mr Navalny's death in a transparent and objective manner.

The death of Mr Alexei Navalny shocked the whole world. The prison system is responsible for the state of health of prisoners. Belgium considers that the system did not assume this responsibility towards Mr Navalny.

Belgium believes that Mr Navalny's family must have access to his remains without delay. We call on Russia to take the necessary measures immediately.

This meeting was also an opportunity to reiterate Belgium's concerns about political repression in Russia. Furthermore, Belgium calls on Russia to release all those who have peacefully expressed their sympathy and condolences following the death of Mr Navalny.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs: "Alexei Navalny was a symbol of the Russian people's resistance to repression and dictatorship. His death reminds us once again of the extent to which Putin's authoritarianism threatens peace, freedom and prosperity, not only in Russia and Ukraine, but also elsewhere in Europe. Navalny's fight will not be in vain. Yesterday I spoke with his wife, who will continue his fight. I assured her of my full support, and that of Belgium and the European Union."