Alexey Navalny Has Plane Ticket to Moscow on January 17
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, who is currently recovering in Germany from a nerve-agent attack he blames on the Kremlin, said he plans to return to Moscow despite threats by the authorities to imprison him upon his arrival.
Navalny said in an Instagram video post Wednesday that he has a ticket to Moscow on Jan. 17.
"It wasn't my choice to come to Germany," Navalny said. "I arrived here because they tried to kill me. Now those people are offended that they didn't succeed in killing me and I survived, and so they're threatening to jail me."
On Monday, the Federal Penitentiary Service appealed to Moscow's Simonovsky court to replace a 3 1/2 year suspended sentence with a prison term for a fraud conviction that Navalny received in 2014. The prison authority in late December warned the opposition politician he faced imprisonment if he didn't obey a summons to appear in person. Restrictions imposed over the suspended jail term expired on Dec. 30.
The opposition leader is currently convalescing in Berlin, where he was flown for treatment after the near-fatal poisoning in August during a campaign trip to Siberia. The European Union in October sanctioned six Russian officials over the use of the banned Novichok chemical weapon. Russia has denied any involvement.
Investigators last month stepped up pressure on Navalny, opening a new criminal case against him for alleged fraud.
"What else are they going to think up so Navalny doesn't return to Russia?" his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said Tuesday on Twitter.