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Iran Press TV

Russia slams West's excessive hysteria over Navalny's case

Iran Press TV

Thursday, 04 February 2021 8:19 AM

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says the West's hysteria over the case of opposition figure Alexei Navalny and the protests held over his detention in Russia has become excessive.

Foreign Minister Lavrov made the remark during a joint press conference with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi, in Moscow on Wednesday.

"In regard to the events happening in Russia, and not only with Navalny, the West's coverage is selective and one-sided," Lavrov said. "That hysteria, which we have heard concerning the trial in the Navalny case, has gone way over the top."

Navalny, 45, was taken ill on a domestic flight on August 20, 2020. He was later transported to the German capital, where he was hospitalized with alleged poisoning. His aides, as well as the German government and some Western countries, claimed he had been "poisoned" before the domestic Russian flight, blaming Moscow.

Moscow has repeatedly rejected the allegations, saying the West is exploiting the case for political reasons and using it as a pretext to impose more sanctions against Russia.

Navalny was detained on arrival in Russia on January 17 for breaking the terms of a 2014 suspended prison sentence. On Tuesday, the Moscow City Court sentenced Navalny to two years and eight months in prison for breaking the terms of that sentence.

His supporters have since held unauthorized protests to demand his release, despite restrictions in place over the COVID-19 pandemic.

West's double standards

Elsewhere in his remarks on Wednesday, Lavrov said that in Germany, France, the United States, and other Western countries, protesters faced huge fines and even long jail terms for blocking roadways and disrupting the regular operations of public transportation.

"When it comes to crowds partaking in illegal rallies, [their] police handle them [the protesters] far more harshly than our law enforcement does," Lavrov said, highlighting the West's double standards.

Western countries have openly meddled in the case by calling on Moscow to release Navalny and condemning the response to protests across Russia.

Some 20 foreign diplomats even attended the court hearing for Navalny on Tuesday.

And on Thursday, the European Union (EU)'s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell flew to Moscow — the first trip to Russia by a top EU envoy since 2017 — to discuss Navalny's case and the protests with Russian officials.

The Kremlin has said that it will not be lectured by foreign officials on the case of Navalny.

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