09:18 GMT25 February 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian embassy in Latvia has strongly condemned attempts by the Latvian authorities to meddle in Russia’s domestic affairs and Riga’s calls for sanctions against Russia following the detention of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny.

    "We strongly condemn the attempt by the Latvian authorities to interfere in the internal affairs of the Russian Federation due to the allegedly illegal detention of A. Navalny in the city of Moscow. Against this background, the calls of the Latvian leadership to impose new sanctions against Russia sound even more absurd," the Russian embassy said on Facebook.

    On Sunday, Navalny landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, where he was detained. Prior to Navalny's return to Russia from Germany, where he was treated for his alleged poisoning, the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service warned it would arrest him for probation violations, as he was previously found guilty of committing two administrative offenses.

    After his arrest, both Latvian and Czech foreign ministers announced that they were going to push for sanctions against Russia in connection with Navalny’s case.

    The European People's Party (EPP) said on Monday that the European Parliament was planning to discuss the detention of Navalny on Tuesday and was going to issue a resolution.

    On Monday, a court in Russia ruled to keep Navalny in detention for 30 days. On January 29, a Moscow court is expected to decide whether Navalny's suspended sentence should be replaced with prison time for breach of suspension conditions.

    The US State Department, European Council President Charles Michel, as well as an array of western foreign ministries and ministers have called on the Russian authorities to release Navalny.

    Commenting on the West’s reaction, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called it an attempt to shift attention from the crisis of the liberal model of development. According to the diplomat, his Western counterparts are visibly "happy" to churn out nearly identical statements.

    In relation to various comments on Navalny’s detention, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has advised foreign officials to respect international law and focus on domestic issues.


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    sanctions, EU sanctions, Alexei Navalny, Czech Republic, Latvia, Russian opposition, opposition, Russia
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