Commenting on the developing news from Russia, ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen MEP said:
“It is with regret that I hear the news from our ALDE Party member party in Russia PARNAS that the chair of their youth wing Mikhail Konev was today kidnapped from the military registration and enlistment office in Moscow. His location remains unknown. European Liberals join the call of PARNAS leader Mikhail Kasyanov in demanding an immediate investigation into Konev's disappearance and we call on authorities to secure his immediate release.”
“This is yet another example of how opposition parties in Russia routinely face intimidation for daring to act as and be a voice of opposition to the ruling powers in the country. European Liberals will continue to support our member parties in Russia. We have already seen death threats and video leaks, and with five months still remaining until the next election, I am sure - sadly – that it won’t be the last such intimidating action,” ALDE Party President Hans van Baalen said.
The Youth wing of YABLOKO, an ALDE Party member party in Russia, has also called for the immediate release of Mikhail Konev. In a statement they said they were outraged at the situation and said the Russian authorities are using the conscription system to put pressure on opposition political activities. “We are with Mikhail Konev and call for his immediate release!”
Russia is due to hold legislative elections on 18 September 2016.
Already in 2016, PARNAS leader Mikhail Kasyanov has been the victim of a leaked intimate videotape and death threats with a video released with him seen through the crosshairs of a sniper rifle. Boris Nemtsov, a former leader of PARNAS, was assassinated on Bolshoy Moskvoretsky Bridge in Moscow in February 2015. His killers remain unknown.