05:23 GMT21 October 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Russian Foreign Ministry will invite the ambassadors of Germany, France and other states, who have claimed that the case of historian Yuri Dmitriev was "politicised", to its headquarters on Smolenskaya Square, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said.

    "We consider the calls of representatives of Berlin and Paris to release Dmitriev, who was charged with paedophilia, as immoral and unethical", Zakharova said at a briefing.

    Zakharova slammed such statements as "inappropriate attacks" not only from Berlin and Paris, but also from other states whose foreign ministers and other officials allow themselves similar speculations that border on the verge of unacceptable.

    "We will invite you and tell you something else and ask more questions. Perhaps all this is happening due to the lack of relevant information. We will fill this gap", she said.

    According to Zakharova, Moscow took note of the statement of French and German top human rights officials, Francois Croquette and Baerbel Kofler, respectively, on 30 September in connection with the conviction of Dmitriev.

    Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court of Karelia imposed a stricter penalty for Dmitriev, extending his punishment from 3.5 to 13 years in a maximum-security colony. He was found guilty of sexually assaulting his adopted daughter, who at that time was less than 14 years old. The defence plans to appeal the 13-year term.

    The historian denied the charges claiming that his case had been fabricated due to his work with NGO Memorial aiming 'to prevent a return of totalitarianism'.

    French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs, where Francois Croquette serves as an ambassador, issued a statement in September calling for Dmitriev's immediate release.

    Baerbel Kofler, the commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance in the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel, has previously also condemned Dmitriev's verdict as "highly questionable and unjust".

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