MOSCOW (AP) — The spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin says the U.S. Embassy’s statements concerning the nationwide protests, during which greater than 3,500 individuals reportedly have been arrested, intervene within the nation’s home affairs and encourage Russians to interrupt the legislation.
Dmitry Peskov made the criticism on Sunday, a day after protests occurred throughout the nation demanding the discharge of jailed opposition chief Alexei Navalny, an anti-corruption activist who’s Putin’s most well-known critic.
In the course of the protests, embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Ross mentioned on Twitter that “the U.S. helps the precise of all individuals to peaceable protest, freedom of expression. Steps being taken by Russian authorities are suppressing these rights.” The embassy additionally tweeted a State Division assertion calling for Navalny’s launch.
Peskov mentioned the statements “not directly represent absolute interference in our inner affairs” and are “direct assist for the violation of the legislation of the Russian Federation, assist for unauthorized actions.”
The protests attracted 1000’s of individuals in Russia’s main cities, together with an estimated 15,000 in Moscow, and demonstrations occurred in scores of different cities. Peskov, nonetheless, dismissed the turnout as insignificant.
“Now many will say that many individuals got here out for the unlawful actions. No, few individuals got here out; many individuals vote for Putin,” he mentioned.
The 44-year-old Navalny, Putin’s most outstanding and chronic foe, was arrested Jan. 17 when he returned to Russia from Germany, the place had been recovering from extreme nerve-agent poisoning that he blames on the Kremlin and that Russian authorities deny.
Authorities mentioned his five-month keep in Germany violated phrases of a suspended sentence that was imposed in a 2014 fraud and money-laundering conviction, which he says is fraudulent and politically motivated.
He’s to look in courtroom on Feb. 2 for a listening to on whether or not the suspended sentence can be transformed to three 1/2 years in jail.