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Peskov, Zakharova, Russia’s Federation Council Charge Navalny Protests Staged

Jan. 25 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov yesterday denounced U.S. State Department comments on the Navalny demonstrations in Moscow, in the wake of the U.S. Embassy’s publication of the whereabouts of illegal demonstrations protesting Alexey Navalny’s arrest.

“The United States will stand shoulder to shoulder with our allies and partners in defense of human rights—whether in Russia or wherever they come under threat,” said Ned Price, a spokesperson for the State Department. Commenting on Rossiya-1’s “Moscow.Kremlin.Putin” program Peskov countered, “Lots of people are going to say that many people came out to this illegal rally. No. Few people came out, but many people vote for Putin. And a lot of people voted for constitutional reform” that will let Putin run for president until 2036, he was quoted as telling Britain’s Guardian daily.

Meanwhile the Russian Embassy in the U.K. tweeted, “Hypocrites continue to inflate the fake #Navalny case to interfere into internal affairs of our country. This is a professionally prepared provocation, encouraged by embassies of Western countries, including US Embassy in Moscow.”

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova appeared on Russia’s most-watched TV show, “Sunday Evening,” on Rossiya-1 on Jan. 24, to demand that American diplomats explain the U.S. State Department’s actions in posting information on unauthorized rallies for Russian dissident Navalny. Zakharova insisted that the U.S. Embassy in Moscow will have to include explanations to the Russia Foreign Ministry for the U.S. State Department’s announcement of “the routes of the protests,” she said, “But we will continue to address this matter because it is just the tip of an iceberg—what was published by the U.S. official structures, the recommendation [to protest] given by foreign ministries of some Western countries.” She noted that a year ago, the United States “launched a crusade allegedly against fake news. But if you access an American digital platform, a network or host site, they will offer materials to watch, even if you don’t want it, calling for illegal protests.” On Jan. 22, the U.S. Embassy in Russia had posted information on its website about the time and location of unauthorized rallies in Russia cities on the following day for Navalny.

Sen. Andrey Klimov, Chair of the Russian Federation Council’s Temporary Commission “for the Protection of State Sovereignty and Prevention of Interference in Russia’s Internal Affairs,” also told Rossiya-1 on Sunday: “The commission [of the Federation Council] has reason to believe that the actions of foreign states are clearly behind all these events, and all this is happening with the assistance of foreign specialists,” according to TASS yesterday. He further alleged that the “unauthorized” demonstrations at the urging of jailed Kremlin opposition leader Alexey Navalny were organized primarily on “foreign digital platforms and messengers. This is an illegal act itself.”

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