To put it simply, the Russian authorities might face a demand to remove a criminal record and all other legal claims against Alexei Navalny that prohibit him from standing in elections. Chances are guarantees of immunity will also be required.
The story around the suspected poisoning of Alexei Navalny, a well-known leader of Russia’s off-parliament opposition, is likely to go on for quite some time. For example, after his evacuation by a private plane from the Siberian city of Omsk to Berlin and the statement that German experts had allegedly found traces of the Novichok nerve agent in his body, European political establishment started talking about a new round of sanctions against Russia. Certainly, European political heavyweights explain steps of this kind by the fact that they suspect Moscow of involvement in the incident with Navalny.
Anyway, recently, there have been fewer and fewer discussions about who is to blame for what happened. The focus of attention has shifted to Navalny himself. As his health condition has improved, the doctors of the Charité hospital even decided to take him out of an artificial coma.
In the light of it, Europe took a pause. The torrent of bombastic declarations, accusations and threats against Russia decreased significantly. However, according to Alexander Sosnovsky, a popular Russian political scientist, in the near future, Europe might again bring up this issue and make new demands to Moscow over Navalny’s poisoning. He made this statement with the reference to an undisclosed information leak.
According to his information, currently, the EU has two top-priority plans for Russia. First of all, Brussels is going to introduce punitive sanctions on the Russian energy supplies to European markets. In addition, the Europeans are likely to give permission for building and commissioning of the long-suffering Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline only if Alexei Navalny is able not only to come back to Russia without any issues and consequences but also to take part in the elections. To put it simply, the Russian authorities might face a demand to exonerate Alexei Navalny of a criminal record and all other legal claims that prevent him from standing in elections. Chances are guarantees of immunity will be also demanded.
“Essentially, Europe is working on a plan to propel Navalny into power in Russia,” says Sosnovsky.
It is noteworthy that back in early September, Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, made a statement during a press conference that the German military experts had found traces of the notorious Novichok nerve agent in the medical tests of Navalny who had been transported from Omsk. Against this background, Berlin immediately demanded explanations from Moscow but did not provide any evidence of the presence of this poison in Navalny’s body.
Interestingly, some political scientists have a slightly different viewpoint. In their opinion, Europe is going to play the “Navalny card” in a bit different way. It might be mainly connected with the economic prerequisites that will put pressure on Moscow and create a competition in different market segments against the background of the coming global recession triggered by many negative factors and, first of all, by the COVID-19 pandemic.