“We are obviously ready to provide all the necessary assistance to Alexey Navalny, to his relatives, in terms of health, in terms of asylum, of protection, it is obvious,” Macron told reporters.
Navalny, 44, is a politician, lawyer and activist, and one of the most critical voices against Russian President Vladimir Putin. He fell unconscious while traveling on a plane returning from Moscow on Thursday and was quickly hospitalized in intensive care at Omsk hospital in Siberia when the flight made an emergency landing there. Navalny is suspected of having been poisoned.
French President and First Lady Brigitte Macron welcomed Merkel to their summer residence at Fort Bregancon in the town of Bormes-les-Mimosa on the French Riviera in southern France. The press conference covered multiple issues of international importance, including the political situation in Belarus, relations with Russia and the recent coup in Mali.
With Merkel by his side, Macron proposed mediation between the various parties playing a role in the unrest in Belarus, including Russia.
President Alexander Lukashenko was re-elected to the post on August 9 – the one he has held for 26 years – by an 80% majority, but tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets in the past ten days to denounce the election, claiming it was rigged.
“We hope that this dialogue – a dialogue between the authorities, the opposition, the civil society, can be put in place by the Belarusians themselves. But the European Union is nonetheless ready to support it, “said the president,” if our role as mediator can. be useful and desired by Belarusians, with other institutions, in particular the OSCE [Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe] and include Russia in the demanding dialogue. ”
As the crisis spiraled out of control, EU leaders held a summit earlier this week agreeing to impose sanctions, European Council president Charles Michel saying they failed to recognize the results of the elections. He also called on Lukashenko to release hundreds of prisoners captured during the protests.
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