Reuters Moscow City Court
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Western countries to demand the release of the opposition Alexei Navalny, not to interfere in the affairs of an independent country, after the issuance of many official Western statements regarding him.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken expressed his “grave concern” about the ruling against Navalny, and called for his immediate release.
He added, “Although we are working with Russia to activate American interests, we will coordinate with our allies and partners to hold Russia accountable for its failure to guarantee the rights of its citizens.”
Germany condemned the ruling, as Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described it as a “blow to basic freedoms and the rule of law in Russia,” calling for Navalny’s release “immediately.”
Britain also called for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Navani and “all peaceful protesters and journalists detained during the other two weeks,” according to a statement by Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.
For his part, Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsberg said that “dialogue between the European Union and Russia is no longer possible now except in terms of sanctions,” noting that his country “will study imposing sanctions on Russia if the Union does not rush to do so.”
This comes after the Moscow court decided to replace the suspended prison sentence issued against Navalny in 2014, with a prison sentence with an expiration date of 3 and a half years, for violating the conditions of house arrest and his transfer in the country without permission from the Prisons Authority, or a force majeure.
Navalny is scheduled to serve two years and eight months in prison, as he spent the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.