Bulgaria Confronts Russia over Navalny's Death: Calls for Transparent Investigation

Diplomacy | February 23, 2024, Friday // 15:10|  views

In a diplomatic showdown following the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, Bulgaria summoned the Ambassador of the Russian Federation, Eleonora Mitrofanova, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, it was Valentin Solodkin, the temporary manager of the embassy, who attended the meeting, where Bulgaria vehemently expressed its indignation over Navalny's demise in a Siberian penal colony on February 16, 2024.

The Bulgarian side made a démarche in front of Solodkin, condemning Navalny's death as unjust and demanding immediate action from Moscow. They called for a transparent, thorough, and objective investigation, urging the involvement of an independent international commission to clarify all circumstances surrounding Navalny's passing. Furthermore, Bulgaria pressed for accountability, emphasizing the need to swiftly bring the perpetrators to justice.

A critical appeal was also made for the prompt release of all political prisoners, including prominent figures like Yury Dmitriev, Vladimir Kara-Murza, and others, who have been arbitrarily detained for exercising their human rights and opposing Russian-led aggression against Ukraine. Bulgaria voiced concerns over the detainees' treatment and reminded Moscow of its obligations under international law to prohibit torture.

Expressing solidarity with Russian civil society, democratic forces, and political opposition, Bulgaria condemned what it described as systematic repression by Russian authorities. The Bulgarian side underscored its unwavering support for those advocating for democracy and human rights within Russia and beyond.

In response, the Russian Embassy in Bulgaria issued a statement acknowledging the meeting, where the Bulgarian side expressed expectations regarding the clarification of Navalny's death. However, the embassy emphasized that Navalny's situation remains an internal matter for Russia and cautioned against external interference. They urged patience pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation conducted in accordance with Russian legislation.

The diplomatic exchange underscores escalating tensions between Bulgaria and Russia in the aftermath of Navalny's death, raising questions about the future of their bilateral relations amidst international scrutiny and calls for accountability.

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Tags: Bulgaria, Russia, Navalny, investigation


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