Denmark says Russian authorities are responsible for Navalny death

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected]
Denmark says Russian authorities are responsible for Navalny death
Danish foreign minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen says Russian president Vladimir Putin is “ultimately responsible” for the death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix

Danish foreign minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said the Denmark intends to make “crystal clear” to Russia its view that Russian authorities are responsible for the death of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.


Rasmussen commented on the matter after Denmark summoned Russian ambassador Vladimir Barbin to a meeting at the foreign ministry in Copenhagen on Tuesday.

“We have summoned the Russian ambassador for a conversation in line with [steps taken by] a large number of other EU countries,” Rasmussen said.

 “We are doing this after discussions we had yesterday because we want to send a very clear signal to Putin that we hold him responsible for Navalny's death,” he said.


The Foreign Ministry confirmed at around 2pm on Tuesday that the conversation had taken place but gave no additional detail.

Denmark has called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the Russian opposition leader.

Summoning an ambassador is generally considered a diplomatic step intended to send a strong signal of disapproval to the ambassador's home country.

“This is the diplomatic tool we can use to make it crystal clear to the Russian regime that we hold Putin responsible for this,” Rasmussen said.

The Danish foreign minister said he believes it is "obvious" that Putin is ultimately behind Navalny’s demise.

“This is about a dissident who was subjected to a poison attack. He then travelled back to Russia and was imprisoned in the most wretched conditions,” Rasmussen said.

“So regardless of what the exact cause of death is, it is the outcome of a process where there have been attacks on a person who has spoken out against the regime,” he said.


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