Several countries share the view that Tuesday’s ruling against anti-corruption blogger and opposition politician Alexei Navalny was politically motivated.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a written statement that the United States is extremely concerned about the ruling.
The statement said that the allied countries would now be consulted to hold Russia accountable for its “failure to preserve the rights of its citizens.”
Germany ‘bitter slap to the judiciary’
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas described the ruling as a bitter blow to the Russian judiciary.
He wrote on Twitter: “The verdict issued today against Alexei Navalny is a bitter blow to fundamental freedoms and the judiciary in Russia,” adding: “Alexei Navalny must be released immediately.”
French President Emmanuel Macron also demanded his release and described today’s ruling as “unacceptable.”
United Kingdom: ‘corrupt rule’
Even the toughest criticism comes from British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab:
Raab said, “Britain is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Alexei Navalny and all of the detained protesters and journalists in the past two weeks.”
“Today’s corrupt ruling, which targets the victim of poisoning and not anyone behind it, shows that Russia is failing to fulfill the most basic obligations that one expects from a member of the international community,” he told Reuters.
Lithuania: sanctions wanted
Heavy criticism also comes from Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis, who has called for new sanctions against Russia.
He said, “Dialogue between Russia and the European Union is now possible only through the language of sanctions,” adding:
“Unless the outside world rushes, Lithuania will consider imposing sanctions on its own.”