Merkel and EU reiterate call for Navalny's 'very urgent' release

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union on Thursday reiterated calls for the release of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny, who was arrested at a Moscow airport last week upon arrival from Germany. “We believe this is absolutely right and also very urgent,” Merkel said in Berlin. Finnish President Sauli Niinisto also raised the question during a call he initiated with Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Niinisto discussed the “implications for relations between European countries and Russia” of Navalny’s ongoing detention, according to a statement from the Finnish leader’s office….

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