Alexei Navalny's wife Yulia to meet EU ministers in Brussels today | World News - Hindustan Times
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Alexei Navalny's wife Yulia to meet EU ministers in Brussels today

AFP |
Feb 19, 2024 12:46 AM IST

The 47-year-old Kremlin critic died in an Arctic prison on Friday after spending more than three years behind bars.

Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of the late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, will meet European foreign ministers in Brussels on Monday, the EU's foreign policy chief said.

Yulia Navalnaya, wife of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny(AFP)
Yulia Navalnaya, wife of late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny(AFP)

The 47-year-old Kremlin critic died in an Arctic prison on Friday after spending more than three years behind bars, prompting outrage and condemnation from Western leaders and his supporters.

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"On Monday, I will welcome Yulia Navalnaya at the EU Foreign Affairs Council," Josep Borrell said late Sunday on X, formerly Twitter.

"EU Ministers will send a strong message of support to freedom fighters in Russia" and "honour" Navalny's memory, he said.

Navalnaya, who had not seen her husband in two years, had said she held Russian President Vladimir Putin personally responsible and called on the international community to "unite and defeat this evil, terrifying regime".

Also read: Alexei Navalny death: What's India's stand? BJP spox Jaiveer Shergill's reply to foreign reporter

Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said Navalnaya's "words will help all of us Europeans to understand even better what kind of violent system we have to confront and contain in Ukraine".

"It will make us feel the threat that weighs on Russian citizens and on every region of our Europe, a continent to which violence, brutality, and war have been shamefully and irresponsibly returned," Tajani said in a statement.

Navalny was Russia's most prominent opposition leader and garnered a huge following as he campaigned against corruption under Putin.

Navalnaya had stood by her husband as he galvanised mass protests in Russia, flying him out of the country as he lay in a coma after a poisoning and returning to Moscow with him.

She had since clung on to the hope that she would see him again even as he was given 19 years in prison.

Putin -- who famously never referred to Navalny by name -- was on a visit to the Urals on Friday and made no mention of the death.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov however accused Western leaders on Friday of "absolutely unacceptable" and "hysterical" reactions to Navalny's death.

Also on the EU foreign ministers' agenda on Monday were talks to formally launch a naval mission to help protect international shipping in the Red Sea against attacks from Yemen's Huthis, EU officials said last week.

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