Ansip Suggests Russian Activist Apply for Asylum ({{commentsTotal}})

Photo: From Rybachenko's public Facebook page,
Photo: From Rybachenko's public Facebook page,

Russian opposition activist Anastasia Rybachenko, who is currently studying in Tallinn, would do well to apply for political asylum in Estonia, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip has said.

Ansip's comments, quoted in Postimees this morning, follow news earlier this week that a Moscow court had issued an arrest order in absentia for the 22-year-old Rybachenko, paving the way for Interpol to begin processing her case.

“This person should certainly submit a request to the appropriate Estonian institutions,” Ansip said, in answer to the question of whether Estonia could do anything to protect a non-citizen. “The most reasonable thing would be to apply for asylum.”

As a former spokeswoman of Solidarnost, a Russian opposition group, Rybachenko, along with a host of activists, is wanted for her part in protests at Bolotnaya Square in May 2012, where she allegedly incited rioting.

Rybachenko told ERR News this week that she has no plans to apply for asylum, and that her ultimate goal is to return to her home country.

In previous press comments, she has said she does not believe that Estonia or any other European country would extradite her to Russia based on an international warrant, as her case is a political one and should by legal statute be outside the purview of Interpol.