Russia rejects foreign interference in Navalny case

Navalny supporters call for torchlight protest on Valentine’s Day
Navalny

The case with Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is a purely domestic affair and foreign intervention is not allowed, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.

“This is an exclusively internal matter. We will not allow anyone to interfere nor intend to listen to such statements,” Peskov said this at a daily briefing.

He said that the case does not require special attention from Russian President Vladimir Putin, as all Russian citizens were treated equally in accordance with the law.

Peskov said the Kremlin was not worried about potential mass protests after Navalny called on his supporters to take to the streets.

The harsh Kremlin critic was detained on Sunday upon his arrival at a Moscow airport from Germany, where he received medical treatment for alleged poisoning over the past months.

Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service accused the activist of systematically violating conditions of his probationary period and put him on a wanted list on Dec. 29, 2020.

Navalny will remain in custody until Feb. 15, 2021 as per a court decision.

On Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Russia John Sullivan said in a statement that Navalny’s detention “appears to be deeply politicised” and “the international community will be observing Mr Navalny’s treatment closely.”

Navalny fell into a coma on a flight from the Russian city of Tomsk to Moscow on Aug. 20, 2020.

He was then transferred to a hospital in Berlin with suspected poisoning symptoms.

In early September, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-style Novichok nerve agent.

Russian authorities have repeatedly denied the accusations and demanded solid evidence from Germany.

The issue has led to mutual expulsions of diplomats between Russia and some Western countries.

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