"Follows their money flows": Khodorkovsky wants EU penalties for oligarchs

"Tracks their money flows"
Khodorkovsky wants EU penalties for oligarchs

While tens of thousands of people are taking to the streets in Russia for Navalny's freedom, leading Russian opposition figures are putting pressure on the Europeans: Before the meeting of EU foreign ministers, Kasparov and Khodorkovsky are demanding sanctions against those who are loyal to Putin.

Because of the actions taken against the Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, prominent Russian opposition politicians have called on the EU to impose sanctions on oligarchs and friends of Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. "Hunt them, track their money flows," Garry Kasparov said at an online press conference that evening. "Stop playing with the mafia." The funds are ready to lock the fortunes of Putin's billionaire friends in the West.

For example, together with the former oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former world chess champion Kasparov called for the use of the sanctioning instrument that the EU had decided in December to fight human rights violations. This is intended to make the political punishment of such crimes much easier. In addition, entry bans are to be imposed on people. The EU foreign ministers will meet on Monday.

"A dictatorship has finally been established in Russia," said Khodorkovsky. "The main reason for staying in power is because of unimaginable theft and a desire to escape responsibility for the crimes committed." Violence is used against the population. "The situation with Navalny shows this change." Khodorkovsky emphasized that he was behind Navalny. This is a political prisoner like he was himself. "As long as he is in prison, I will support him," he said. Kasparov emphasized: "We cannot protect Navalny now. But we can fight for what he is fighting for: a free Russia."

Kasparov criticizes "Schroederization"

Kasparov criticized the role of former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who holds posts at Nord Stream 2 and the Russian state energy company Rosneft. All aspects of Schröder's cooperation with Putin would have to be uncovered. However, the SPD politician is only one person. "The Schroederization is a phenomenon that affects many Western countries," said Kasparov. "We need to uncover more about Putin's aides."

Looking at the nationwide protests in Russia for the release of Navalny, the Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Mursa said that young people in particular are no longer afraid of Putin and his leadership. "This will continue," he said. "People are ready to send him a message that they have had enough."

In an unprecedented wave of protests, tens of thousands of people demonstrated across Russia for the release of Navalny and demonstrated against President Vladimir Putin. "Freedom for Navalny!" and "Putin, uchodi!" – in German: "Putin, get away!" chanted people in dozens of cities in the largest country in the world in terms of area. The protests from the far east of the country to Kaliningrad on the Baltic Sea were directed against the political persecution of dissenters. Police clashed with demonstrators in Moscow. There were dozen injured. Civil rights activists counted more than 2,200 arrests nationwide by the evening.

Demonstrations also in Berlin and Düsseldorf

Also in Berlin and 2000 people demonstrated for Navalny. The "Freedom for Navalny" protest march passed the Russian embassy and ended in front of the Brandenburg Gate. The process was "trouble-free," said a police spokesman. In Düsseldorf, too, 200 people demonstrated on the market square. According to the police, the rally was initially registered with 100 participants. The demonstration was peaceful and trouble-free, the police said during the course. The corona distance rules would also be observed.

The opposition leader was sentenced to 30 days in prison on Monday after his return from Germany near Moscow in a controversial urgent procedure. Navalny is said to have violated reporting requirements in previous criminal proceedings while he was recovering from an attack with the neurotoxin Novitschok in Germany. The 44-year-old sees the judiciary's actions as politically motivated. He faces many years in prison – as well as several legal proceedings.