UN Security Council to discuss the plight of Alexei Navalny next week

United Nations, United States, Jan 29 (AFP/APP): The UN Security Council will meet informally next week to discuss the plight of detained Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, at the risk of causing tension with Moscow, diplomats said Friday.

The meeting is scheduled to take place Wednesday after regular monthly discussions on the war in Syria.

The session will be officially framed as a discussion on Navalny’s poisoning last year, one diplomat said. But the diplomat said some council members will probably bring up the current situation of Navalny, who was arrested January 17 after returning to Russia from Germany, where he had been recovering from a near fatal poisoning with a nerve toxin.

Street protesters in Russia and many countries including the United States and the European Union have demanded his release from detention. These countries probably want to stress “what the regime does to people who oppose it,” this diplomat said on condition of not being named.

Russia cannot block the meeting because it is an informal one, behind closed doors, in which any council member can bring up any subject it wishes. But Moscow is still expected to complain about the holding of the meeting and insist that the Navalny affair is not the UN’s business because it does not threaten world peace or security.

“It’s a matter of internal politics. That’s why we do not tolerate, we will not tolerate any foreign interference into the situation,” deputy Russian ambassador Dmitry Polyanskiy told a news conference this week.

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