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France summons Russian ambassador, calls for investigation into Navalny's death

The French government has summoned the Russian ambassador in response to the death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny in a Russian prison colony Friday. File Photo by Yuri Kochetkov
The French government has summoned the Russian ambassador in response to the death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny in a Russian prison colony Friday. File Photo by Yuri Kochetkov

Feb. 20 (UPI) -- The French government on Tuesday said it summoned its Russian ambassador over the death of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

The French Foreign Ministry also demanded a full in-depth investigation and the liberation of all political prisoners, including Vladimir Kara-Mourza, who has been detained since 2022.

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"France holds the Russian authorities plainly responsible for the death of Alexei Navalny whose conditions of detention drastically deteriorated since his penal colony transfer," the ministry said.

French Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Sejourne added in a press conference that Russian President Vladimir Putin's regime had "shown its true colors" following Navalny's death.

The move comes after the European Union said it would impose further sanctions on Russia in response to Navalny's death.

"The E.U. will spare no efforts to hold Russia's political leadership and authorities to account, in close coordination with our partners and impose further costs for their actions, including through sanctions," EU high representative Josep Borrell said in a statement Monday.

After uncertainty followed news of Navalny's death on Friday, a spokesperson for him declared on Saturday that he was "murdered" while in the Russian penal colony.

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