Russia threatens break with EU, once and for all

“Russia is ready to break relations with the European Union.” 

This will be the future scenario, announced Russian Foreign Minister Serghei Lavrov on the program Soloviev Life. Meanwhile, the tension grows between Moscow and the EU, given the European position in support of the imprisoned Putin opponent, Alexey Navalny.

“If we see once again, just as on other occasions, that sanctions are imposed in some areas and create risks for our economy, even in the most sensitive sectors, then yes. We do not want to be isolated from international life, but we should be prepared for that,” Lavrov said. “If you want peace, prepare for war,” he added.

At the same time, Moscow’s Babushkinsky District Court has resumed the libel trial brought against Navalny, who is accused of slandering a World War II veteran. According to Interfax, an official from the EU diplomatic representation in Russia is present, followed by the diplomatic representatives of Estonia and Latvia. Obviously, Navalny is also present in the courtroom. 

World War II veteran Ignat Artyomenko, the plaintiff, addressed the court, speaking via video link from home. Artyomenko said he was waiting for a public apology from Navalny. 

Prosecutors say that on June 2, 2020, Navalny made a post on Twitter and Telegram about a video aired on the RT television channel in support of amendments to Russia’s Constitution, which featured war veteran Artyomenko. Navalny, according to the indictment, posted a comment that contained knowingly false information denigrating Artyomenko’s honor and dignity. 

Navalny was subsequently charged with slander. The opposition activist has pleaded not guilty and describes the case as politically motivated.