Reacting to the new wave of Western criticism in the Navalny affair, Dmitry Peskov said that the state of health of those convicted and imprisoned in Russia should not arouse the interest of representatives of other countries.
Should the health of imprisoned Russian citizens be a major concern of Western chancelleries? Moscow does not think so.
At a press conference on April 19, Kremlin spokesman Dmitri Peskov stressed that he had “no reaction” to recent statements by Western representatives on this subject.
“The state of health of those convicted and imprisoned in Russia cannot and should not be the subject of interest [des pays occidentaux]“, Thus estimated Dmitry Peskov. Referring to the very publicized Navalny affair, he added that Moscow could “not accept” the Western warnings. “It is not a concern that we take into consideration,” he added on this subject.
The United States and the EU step up to the plate
The spokesperson was reacting to new positions taken on the Navalny case, which must be raised on the same day by the foreign ministers of the countries of the European Union. The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell said the same day to hold “the Russian authorities [pour] responsible for the health of Mr. Navalny ”.
A statement similar to the one made the day before by Jake Sullivan, US National Security Advisor. Responding to CNN, he warned in particular: “What happens to Mr. Navalny during [sa] detention is [la] responsibility [des autorités russes] and they will be held responsible by the international community ”. He had also promised “consequences if Mr. Navalny dies”.
On April 18, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, for his part, spoke of “a major responsibility for President Putin” and called for the release of the Russian opponent, a position perceived by Moscow as interference. .
Alexeï Navalny, whose state of health was deemed “satisfactory” by the Russian Prison Service after examination by a doctor, is currently serving a two and a half year prison sentence. The justice revoked last February the suspension of a sentence dating back to 2014, for embezzlement in the Russian subsidiary of the French group Yves Rocher.
The opponent was found guilty of multiple violations of the conditions of judicial review required by this suspended sentence. Alexeï Navalny had not presented himself for registration with the prison inspectorate at least six times during the year 2020: January 13, January 27, February 3, March 16, July 6 and August 17.
Dmitry Peskov also qualified as “provocation” and “unfriendly act” the expulsion of 18 Russian diplomats by the Czech Republic. She had accused these diplomats of espionage. This allegation is strongly contested by Moscow, which responded by in turn expelling 20 Czech diplomats.