Kremlin Dismisses Calls To Free Alexie Navalny, Warns Against Protests

20 Janvier, 2021, 04:12 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Former Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky speaks during an interview with Reuters in central London Britain

At least 13 protesters were arrested on Monday outside the police station on the outskirts of Moscow, where Navalny's hastily arranged court hearing was held, and at least 55 demonstrators were rounded up by police in St Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city, according to activists.

Navalny was arrested Sunday when he landed in Moscow, after spending several months in Germany, where he had received treatment for poisoning.

His airport arrest has drawn widespread Western condemnation, with the USA, the European Union, France and Canada all calling for his release, and prompted Baltic states to urge the EU to impose sanctions on Russian Federation.

"We hear these statements, but we can not and don't plan to take these into account", Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

"This is about a Russian citizen not complying with Russian law", Peskov told reporters on a conference call.

"This is absolutely a domestic affair and we will not allow anyone to interfere in it", he said.

Mr Peskov said Mr Navalny's calls for Russians to take to the streets over his detention were alarming, but that the Kremlin did not fear mass protests.

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The 44-year-old has said the charges are baseless and politically motivated.

Navalny was moved Monday evening to Moscow's Matrosskaya Tishina jail, one of the country's best guarded detention centres.

Demonstrations in Moscow are now banned due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed Western demands to release top opposition politician Alexei Navalny and criticised his calls for mass demonstrations.

Mr Peskov said Mr Navalny had genuine questions to answer about violating his parole conditions for a suspended prison sentence.

Asked if the Kremlin was anxious about large-scale protests, Peskov answered: "Absolutely not".

"We are not a body that can assess this, but undoubtedly this could be grounds for analyses on the issue of calls for illegal actions", he added.



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