Russia on Thursday recommended that Washington was swift to condemn the designation of Alexei Navalny’s groups as extremist simply because the jailed Kremlin critic was in reality working for the United States.
A Moscow court late on Wednesday ruled to designate Navalny’s regional offices and his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) as “extremist”, barring them from working in Russia.
The US State Department known as the action “particularly disturbing” and mentioned it was element of a pattern of restricting basic rights in Russia.
In a radio interview on Thursday morning, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova mentioned the response showed the extent of US interference in Russia’s affairs.
“Can you imagine seeing such an instant reaction from the State Department to a domestic or some other internal decision in another country?” she mentioned in the interview broadcast on YouTube and state radio.
“Then in a few hours they make a special statement. This means that they are politically involved in the story,” she mentioned, adding that Washington was therefore exposing its “agents”.
“They show such political zeal because it touches those whom they supervised, those whom they supported politically and in other ways,” Zakharova mentioned.
Prosecutors in April had requested that Navalny’s organisations be hit with the “extremist” label, saying the group was plotting an uprising with assistance from the West.
Navalny’s network of regional offices had helped organise a wise voting technique that urged voters to cast ballots for these most probably to defeat Kremlin-linked candidates.
Ahead of parliamentary elections in September — in which the deeply unpopular ruling United Russia party is anticipated to struggle — lawmakers passed legislation that bans members and sponsors of “extremist” groups from operating in the polls.