Navalny says Russia must become a parliamentary democracy

(CNN) — Russian dissident Alexey Navalny said from prison that the only way for his country to avoid an “endless cycle of imperial authoritarianism” is to become a parliamentary democracy.

In an article of his authorship published by the Washington Post, Navalny said that while Western nations have correctly asserted the importance of Ukraine’s independence and preventing Russia from winning the war, it is necessary to start thinking about what Russia will look like once the battle is over.

“The strategy should be to ensure that Russia and its government naturally, without coercion, do not want to start wars and do not find them attractive,” Navalny wrote in an essay that was passed on to The Post by his legal team. He is currently serving a nine-year prison sentence in a Russian prison.

“Post-war Russia must become the central issue, and not just another item, on the agenda of those fighting for peace. Long-term goals cannot be achieved without a plan to ensure that the source of all problems stops creating them,” Navalny wrote. “Russia must stop being an instigator of aggression and instability.”

Navalny is the Most prominent insider critic of the President of RussiaVladimir Putin, and his dissenting views have nearly cost him his life.

Putin signs documents to annex Ukrainian regions to Russia 3:08

Navalny was poisoned with a nerve agent in 2020, an attack for which various Western officials and Navalny himself openly blamed the Kremlin. Russia, for its part, has denied any involvement in the episode.

After a five-month stay in Germany to recover from Novichok poisoning, Navalny returned to Moscow last year, where he was promptly arrested for violating the terms of his probation imposed in a 2014 case. early this yearNavalny was sentenced to nine years in prison on fraud charges that he said were politically motivated.

In his essay, published the same day Putin announced Russia’s annexation of a fifth of Ukraine’s territory, Navalny said the war in Ukraine, as well as previous conflicts, had helped those in power in Moscow.

“The Russian elite over the last 23 years has learned rules that have never failed: war is not that costly, it solves all internal political problems, public approval goes through the roof, it does not particularly harm the economy and, most importantly, winners should not be held accountable for their responsibilities,” Navalny wrote.

The solution, says Navalny, is to adopt a democratic form of government in which power is decentralized, similar to what has been done in the Baltic states.

“The threat to peace and stability in Europe is aggressive imperial authoritarianism, ceaselessly inflicted by Russia on itself,” Navalny said. “Post-war Russia, like post-Putin Russia, will be doomed to become belligerent and Putinist again. This is inevitable as long as the country’s current form of development is maintained. Only a parliamentary republic can prevent this.”

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