Russian MP says investigation into Navalny’s widow over European Parliament speech

Remarks by Yulia Navalnaya in the European Parliament may have constituted a call for sanctions against Moscow, according to Andrey Alshevskikh.

The Russian Interior Ministry is investigating Yulia Navalnaya, the widow of late opposition figure Alexey Navalny, regarding a speech she delivered at the European Parliament in February, a Russian MP has said.
On Monday, Andrey Alshevskikh of the ruling United Russia party published a letter on social media that he received from the Interior Ministry in response to his request for an investigation into Yulia Navalnaya.
In February, the MP reported Navalnaya for “the dissemination of unlawful information” and for calling for sanctions against Russia during a speech in the European Parliament.
According to the Interior Ministry’s letter, the content of Navalnaya’s speech will undergo “psycholinguistic assessment,” and a decision will be made “in accordance with [Russian] legislation.” The process will be completed “in the second half of 2024,” it added in the correspondence.
Navalnaya spoke to MEPs in Strasbourg shortly after her husband’s death. She criticized the EU’s approach to sanctions for not being effective, calling for “innovative” measures to put pressure on Russia. Calls for sanctions against Russia are punishable by up to three years in prison.
Last month, Navalnaya pledged to continue her late husband’s work. Before the presidential election on March 17, she called for protests outside voting stations, and urged Russian citizens to either vote against Vladimir Putin or spoil their ballot papers. Putin was re-elected as president with 87.8% of the vote.

Ivan Zhdanov, an ally of Navalny and the head of the NGO he founded, said it was too early to say whether criminal proceedings may be launched against Navalnaya, according to Russian media.
Navalny died at a penal colony in February while serving a lengthy sentence for violating the terms of an earlier suspended sentence for fraud and “extremist activities.”
The prison authorities said the 47-year-old suddenly fell ill after a walk and collapsed, and efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful. According to FBK, the death certificate provided to Navalny’s mother said he had died of natural causes.