As greater than a dozen international diplomats attend Navalny trial, West should resist temptation to intrude in Russian affairs – Kremlin

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Russian officers have expressed concern over the potential for international interference within the trial of jailed opposition determine Alexey Navalny, after Western diplomats arrived en masse at his listening to on Tuesday.

A video taken outdoors Moscow City Court, the place the activist is standing trial on costs of violating a suspended sentence, confirmed a line of black diplomatic automobiles registered to embassies within the Russian capital. At least 20 separate representatives of international missions had been reportedly in attendance for the listening to, the place prosecutors are searching for to condemn the opposition activist to 3 and a half years behind bars.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook afterward Tuesday that diplomats from the US, UK, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Austria had turned out to watch the proceedings. 

In the assertion, she mentioned she understood that “traditionally diplomats in foreign courts support their citizens. Even if Westerners view Navalny as one of ‘their own’, he is a citizen of the Russian Federation.” Zakharova went on to say that “This is no longer just interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state. It is a self-disclosure of the unsightly and illegal role of the collective West in trying to contain Russia.”

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The Foreign Ministry spokeswoman added that she was involved concerning the message the presence of worldwide delegations despatched to the Russian justice system, asking “is it an attempt at psychological pressure on the judge?” She concluded, “I cannot rule out that they are there to oversee the fate of the NATO (British and American) millions pumped into illegal activities on Russian territory.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, additionally expressed concern over attendance within the courtroom. He instructed reporters afterward Tuesday that the diplomats “are free to act within the framework of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, but not outside it. And, of course, diplomats should not in any way interfere in the internal affairs of Russia or allow any actions that would somehow try to put pressure on an independent court.”

The British Embassy in Moscow has since mentioned that the presence of its representatives on the trial was consistent with regular diplomatic protocols. Later on Tuesday, nonetheless, the US’s diplomats in Moscow mentioned that they’d not attended the trial as a consequence of fears round transmission of Covid-19. However, it defended the move by different consulates, saying that “it is standard practice for diplomatic missions around the world to observe court hearings in the host country.” 

Later on Tuesday, Zakharova’s boss, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, instructed a press convention that he had critical doubts over the info put ahead by Navalny round his alleged poisoning with the nerve agent Novichok. “We have no information that would actually prove the validity of the accusations against the Russian leadership, because it was not provided to us,” he mentioned.

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“If you accuse someone, then prove your guilt. But if you say you won’t tell us anything, because it’s secret, or because [Navalny] himself does not allow it, we have every reason to believe that it was staged.”

The Moscow protest chief has beforehand claimed that the very best ranges of the Russian state had been concerned in his alleged poisoning within the Siberian metropolis of Tomsk. However, Russia has mentioned EU nations have repeatedly refused requests for samples of chemical weapons supposedly taken as proof.

Navalny was arrested after touchdown at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport earlier in January. He had flown home from Berlin, the place he had been transferred in a comatose state. He is accused of violating the phrases of his three-and-a-half-year suspended sentence for fraud in opposition to the French firm Yves Rocher.

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