- In response to the expulsion of a German diplomat from Russia, an employee of the Russian Embassy in Berlin must leave the country.
- Poland and Sweden also expelled a Russian diplomat.
- The background to the disagreement between Moscow and Berlin over the imprisonment of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is getting worse.
After demonstrations across Russia on Friday, Russia expelled three diplomats from Germany, Poland and Sweden to free Navalny and against President Vladimir Putin. They participated in unauthorized protests on January 23, the reason being said. Such measures are incompatible with the diplomatic situation.
Russia again defended the deportation of two diplomats on Monday. “The Russian side has made it clear that it does not intend to tolerate such a thing,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said of Interfax.
The Foreign Ministry in Berlin stated that the Russian decision to expel the German diplomat was “unjustified in any way.” “The German diplomat did not perform his mission except as stipulated in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to obtain information about developments on the ground by legal means.”
Two years and eight months in prison
Navalny was sentenced to three and a half years in prison last week for violating terms of probation multiple times in a previous criminal case in 2014, according to the judge. He was credited with several months of house arrest and imprisonment, so that his lawyer would spend two years and eight months in a prison camp.
A poisoned attack was carried out on the most prominent opposition in Russia in August, after which it recovered in Germany. He was arrested on his return to Russia in January.