The three-day visit to Moscow of Joseph Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, from 4 until 6 February, began with a clear statement. In a meeting with the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, Borrell said that the Navalny case represents “the most critical point” in the history of relations between Russia and the European Union, which today have reached “the lowest point”.
Borrell’s mission in Moscow comes shortly after the street protests following the arrest of Alexej Navalnj on his return to Russia after his hospitalization in Germany due to the sensational attempt to poison him.
The protests represent a challenge for the Kremlin, but also for the USA and the European Union, called to give a response equal to their values.
For the European Union, his arrest is “politically motivated“, but Borrell explained that “building a wall of silence is not an option” because Russia and the EU remain interconnected “not only geographically, but also by a wide range of cultural, historical and economic ties”.
The Navalny will unlikely affect the relations between Russia and the European Union, but new perspectives could arise in the new international context due to the election of Joe Biden as President of the USA