G7 foreign ministers have called on Russia to release protesters detained on Saturday after the arrest of opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
“We are deeply concerned about the detention of thousands of peaceful protesters and journalists, and call on Russia to comply with its national and international obligations and to release detainees arbitrarily in order to exercise their right to peaceful assembly.“, G7 foreign ministers said News.ro.
Instead, Nikolai Badrushev, secretary of the Russian Security Council, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, said on Tuesday that Alexei Navalny, a fierce critic of the Kremlin, was being used by the West to destabilize Russia.
The Russian official insisted that Navalny be held accountable for repeated violations of the law.
Navalny was detained for 30 days last week after returning from Germany, where he was treated for poisoning with a neurotoxic agent last year.
He could face up to several years in prison for violating parole terms and other charges against him.
The Group of Seven (G7) is an international forum of state governments: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States.