Russian police have detained about 150 opposition politicians and activists taking part in a meeting in Moscow, the organisers of the "United Democrats" forum say.
Biden administration officials say moves against Russia over attempt to kill the Kremlin critic with novichok are in coordination with EU which imposed sanctions on four officials close to President Putin in response to Alexey Navalny’s jailing.
Alexey Navalny will serve his two years and six months in a penal colony outside Moscow for breaching parole terms while recovering in Germany from a nerve agent poisoning.
Navalny, who called a World War II veteran and other people featured in a pro-Kremlin video last year as “corrupt stooges” and “traitors, has rejected the slander charges and described them as part of official efforts to disparage him.
Russia's justice minister described the decision by the human rights court as unprecedented interference in the work of Russia's courts and said, "There are no legal grounds for the release of this person from custody."
Alexey Navalny’s allies showed solidarity by gathering outside their homes across Russia for 15 minutes on Valentine’s Day evening, shining their mobile phone torches and arranging candles in the shape of a heart.
Despite its enormous economic power, the EU’s fractured political structure prevents the bloc from forming a united front against Russia.
Germany, Poland, and Sweden throw out three Russian diplomats in a coordinated retaliation for expulsion of three EU diplomats by Moscow, drawing angry response from Russia, which called the decision "unjustified and unfriendly."
The meeting is likely to be the first forum for the West to consider any possible joint response to Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny's jailing last week.
Moscow announced the expulsions just hours after EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to discuss ties.
EU’s foreign policy chief Borrell has conveyed his concerns on the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny to Russian FM Lavrov, who called the bloc an unreliable partner. Both sides, however, appeared ready to engage where possible.
Three of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent critics have been silenced since the protests of 2011-2013.
Subscribe to our Youtube channel for all latest in-depth, on the ground reporting from around the world.
Copyright © 2023 TRT World.