Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov lashed out at the West for “double standards” in the way they treat public protests in Russia and at home.
Lavrov’s comments came after police in Portland, Oregon, arrested 30 people for violating a set curfew to protest against the rich as part of the global action Occupy Wall Street.
“While daring to ask us questions, our Western partners do not want to address their own problems, which they have plenty of,” Lavrov said in a reference to Western human rights organizations’ criticism of “the violent way” in which protests are dispersed in Russia.
On Sunday, police in the U.S. city of Denver had to use force against supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement as a crowd of some 2,000 stormed the Colorado Capitol, CBS reported on its website on Sunday.
“The way they treat protesters of the Occupy Wall Street action shows clearly that our colleagues in the West stick to double standards,” Lavrov said.
Under Russian law on rallies and demonstrations passed in 2010, protesters must receive permission from the authorities to hold such an event. The authorities reserve the right to change the time, date and location of the protests. If protesters gather in their originally planned location without the proper permission, police arrest the participants.
The authorities have used this regulation to postpone or reject a series of planned protests, which has aroused criticism from the West.