The Slovenia Times

Foreign Ministry summons Russian ambassador

The headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in Ljubljana. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA

The Slovenian Foreign Ministry summoned Russian Ambassador Timur Eyvazov over the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon said Slovenia called on Russia to allow an international and independent investigation into the circumstances of his death.

The ministry had a meeting with the ambassador on 20 February to express concern and outrage over Navalny's death, Fajon told reporters. She reiterated that Russian President Vladimir Putin was responsible for the death of the opposition leader.

Slovenia called on Russia to allow an international and independent investigation into the circumstances of his death. In the past Slovenia also urged Russia to ensure the jailed opposition leader's safety and well-being, the minister told a press conference she held together with her Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi, who is currently in Slovenia.

The minister was also critical of Russia's arrests of people who paid tribute to Navalny in public, calling on Russian authorities to release them as well as all political prisoners who have been sharing the same fate as Navalny did. "The Russian nation is not responsible for the crimes," she said.

State Secretary Marko Štucin, speaking ahead of a meeting of EU affairs ministers in Brussels, said Slovenia was likely to support additional sanctions against Russia as talks are ongoing on potential measures at EU level in response to Navalny's death.

Foreign press agencies report that a number of European countries decided to summon their Russian ambassadors over Navalny's death. Germany and Sweden also called for new sanctions against Russia, while Baltic countries urged the Kremlin to return his body to his family.

Navalny died on 16 February at the age of 47 while serving a 19-year sentence at an Arctic prison colony, Russian authorities said.

Flowers, candles and photographs laid outside the German Embassy in Ljubljana in tribute to late Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny. Photo: Sara Božič Erjavec Tekavec/STA

People have been paying tribute to him in Russia and abroad. In Ljubljana, flowers have been laid and candles lit in front of the German embassy, which put up a statement by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock about Navalny's being a symbol of a free and democratic Russia and dying because of that.

Slovenian Ambassador to Russia Darja Bavdaž Kuret paid respects to Navalny by laying flowers at a memorial to victims of political repression in Moscow on 19 February.

Slovenian Ambassador Darja Bavdaž Kuret lays flowers in memory of late Russian dissident Alexei Navalny in Moscow. Photo: Slovenian Foreign Ministry's profile on X

More from Politics