‘No question’ Russian state killed Alexei Navalny – Tánaiste

‘No Question’ Russian State Killed Alexei Navalny – Tánaiste
The Department of Foreign Affairs’ Secretary General met the Russian Ambassador Yury Filatov (pictured) on Tuesday, where Ireland’s “outrage” was conveyed to the Russian diplomat. Photo: PA Images
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Cillian Sherlock, PA

The Tánaiste has said there is “no question” that the Russian state killed Alexei Navalny.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said that Ireland has a duty to communicate in the “strongest possible manner” its condemnation of the death of Russia’s opposition leader.


The Russian prison service announced that Mr Navalny died during his detention at an Arctic penal colony on Friday.

The Department of Foreign Affairs’ Secretary General met the Russian Ambassador on Tuesday, where Ireland’s “outrage” was conveyed to the Russian diplomat.

It was relayed to Yury Filatov that the “ultimate responsibility for (Navalny’s) death rests with Russian leadership”.

The department also called for a full, independent and transparent investigation into his death.



Mr Martin, who met Mr Navalny’s widow Yulia Navalnaya at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels on Monday, said her husband’s treatment in detention was “chilling and ruthless”.

Asked if he agreed with her that the Russian state killed Mr Navalny, he said: “There’s no question about that.

“I’m not just referring to the actual immediate situation at the weekend but rather the progressive, savage treatment of him in terms of his imprisonment and his movement to the Arctic Circle.


“There are some harrowing accounts of the latter stages of his detention in terms of freezing cold in the cells, the limited exercise.”

On a visit to Belfast, Mr Martin said the treatment and death of Mr Navalny was reflective of the oppressive regime in Moscow.

“It reflects a regime that is suppressing freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, opposition, dissent, and we communicated that to him, and also we’ve communicated to the ambassador repeatedly that Russia should pull back and withdraw out of Ukraine because of the misery that has been inflicted on so many Ukrainians, and the war is quite shocking also,” he said.

“We want good relations with countries, but when the UN charter is so flagrantly violated, we have to communicate in the strongest possible manner our view, and the view of the Irish people, to such acts.”


Asked why Dana Erlich, the Israeli ambassador to Ireland, had not been summoned to answer questions over her country’s actions in Gaza, Mr Martin said “I have communicated directly to the Israeli government”.

“I met (former) foreign minister (Eli) Cohen, and we’ve communicated directly from government to government our position in respect of the war on Gaza and the need for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, and the need for unimpeded access of humanitarian aid and support.

“We will continue to do that, and we also communicate, and we have communicated, with the Israeli ambassador also.”

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