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European lawmakers call on Russia to “actively support” democratic opposition

Members of the European Parliament participate in a voting session during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, on February 28, 2024. (Photo by Frédéric Florin/AFP via Getty Images)

Members of the European Parliament approved a resolution this Thursday calling on the European Union (EU) and European countries to “actively support independent Russian civil society and the democratic opposition.”

In the non-binding resolution passed in Strasbourg, MEPs said that “the people of Russia cannot be reconciled to the Kremlin’s warmongering, autocratic and corrupt regime.”

506 votes were cast in favor of the proposal, 9 votes were cast in opposition and 32 people were absent.

In the text, the lawmakers alleged that “Russia’s political system is controlled by a strong authoritarian regime that engages in rampant corruption” and “rigged elections to provide a semblance of democracy and concentrate all power in the hands of Vladimir Putin.” “

MEPs expressed their solidarity with people in Russia and beyond who “still have the courage to speak the truth, defend human values, and fight for a democratic and peaceful future for Russia.”

The parliamentarians also demanded that “the Russian authorities drop all arbitrary charges and immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners.”

The resolution called on European countries to “intensify their efforts to find viable ways to release prisoners” and asked countries to consider “the option of possible exchange of imprisoned persons”.

Russia’s 2024 presidential election will be held between March 15 and 17.

On social media, EU foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said that Russia had “opened early voting for the presidential election in the parts of Ukraine it illegally occupies,” adding that it There is a “clear violation” of international law.

Stano said that the EU “will never recognize Crimea, Kherson, Zaporizhia, Donetsk and Luhansk as part of Russia; they are all Ukraine. Those involved will be held accountable.”

The official account of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the EU made a publication on How to use.

“We have already told the EU authorities and consider it necessary to remind them once again that, following the freely expressed will of their residents, the territories of the Donetsk People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic, Zaporizhia and Kherson are currently The Russian Federation is governed by Russian law,” the Permanent Mission of Russia to the European Union said.

This Thursday, the parliament also “strongly” condemned the murder of Alexei Navalny and expressed “deep condolences to his family, associates and colleagues, and to his countless supporters throughout Russia.”

The lawmakers called for “an independent and transparent international investigation into the exact circumstances of Alexei Navalny’s death and those responsible to uncover the truth, ensure accountability, and bring justice.”

He also said that “the Russian government and Vladimir Putin bear personal criminal and political responsibility for the death of their most prominent rival.”

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