FRENCH President Emmanuel Macron condemned Russian court’s sentencing of opposition activist Alexei Navalny.
The activist was jailed for three and a half years in prison earlier this week and Macron said the decision was a “huge mistake, even for Russian stability.”
Speaking during a virtual discussion of the Atlantic Council in Paris, on Thursday he said: “I think this is a huge mistake, even for Russian stability today. So the Navalny case is a very serious situation.”
“We decided (on) some sanctions, and I do regret and I do condemn these decisions,” said Macron, adding that the Russian court’s decision was “the most obvious way to express the thought of irony and disrespect, not just for him but for the rest of the world.”
Navalny was sentenced to nearly three years in prison after he had returned to Russia following the five months of treatment in Charite hospital in Berlin after he got poisoned in his country.
Moscow’s Simonovsky District Court revoked Navalny’s probation in connection with the ‘Yves Rocher’ case and replaced it with a custodial sentence on Tuesday.
Macron also commented on the different COVID vaccines available on the market and said he has no information on the Chinese jab. “What it means is that on the mid to long run, it is almost sure that if this vaccine is not appropriate, it will facilitate the emergence of new variants, it will absolutely not fix the situation of these countries. Brazil by the way is probably a good example of what can happen, with the Manaus situation – people are getting infected, some of them being vaccinated and getting a new form of COVID-19,” he added
The French president also welcomed “the willingness to re-engage the dialogue with Iran” and said “I will do whatever I can to support any initiative from the US side to re-engage a demanding dialogue.”