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Russia expelled EU diplomats over the Navalny affair

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The Russian Foreign Ministry confirmed that the country had just expelled three diplomats from Germany, Sweden and Poland for participating in illegal protests in support of opposition activist Alexei Navalny.

According to Sputnik, the announcement dated February 5 of the Russian authorities confirmed the previous information, published by the EU Observer electronic newspaper. The deportation decision follows talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the European Union High Commissioner (EU) on foreign affairs and security policy Josep Borrell during the official’s first visit to Moscow. .

Russian law enforcement officers were deployed in response to an illegal demonstration in support of opposition activist Navalny in Moscow. Photo: Sputnik

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs also confirmed that the country’s diplomats were forced to leave Russia. A source in Moscow told reporters that the aforementioned diplomat took part in an illegal demonstration on the Nevsky Prospekt in St. Petersburg. St. Petersburg on January 23. However, the Swedish embassy asserted that this person only watched the demonstration, not directly participating.

Sputnik reported that a number of illegal protests were held in Russian cities on January 23 and January 31 in support of Navalny, the Russian anti-Kremlin blogger returning from Germany after the charge was reported. Poisonous though there is no evidence.

Protesters also poured out into the streets on Feb. 2 after Navalny was sentenced to 3 and a half years in prison by a Russian court instead of a suspended sentence in an embezzlement trial.

Several Western countries, including the US, Germany, France and Britain, have condemned Navalny’s arrest and urged Moscow to release him. In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry accused the Western response of “a coordinated global campaign to contain Russia and interfere in its internal affairs”.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that Moscow intends to have “serious talk” with Washington on the issue.

Tuan Anh

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