MOSCOW, February 2. /TASS/. The presence of foreign diplomats at the court trial of Russian opposition blogger Alexey Navalny is not a general practice in diplomacy and can rather be interpreted as a political move, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.
"It is not a normal practice. A normal practice is when foreign diplomats are present in court when case of their nationals or international terrorists, or people who committed crimes in third countries, are tried," she wrote on her Facebook account. "But when diplomats, the more so, collectively, are present when cases of not their citizens are tried it is rather a political move."
She also recalled that Russian diplomats are not always allowed to attend court trials of Russian nationals in Western countries. "In many cases, the US side refuses to allow Russian diplomats to attend court trials of Russian nationals," she added.
"So, instead of inventing any non-existing diplomatic norms and practices, it is better to admit: it is Western money, Western diplomats (ask Washington what Japan is doing at court), a Western political project," she stressed.
A TASS correspondent reported earlier in the day that about 20 foreign diplomats, including from the United States, Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, Austria, and Switzerland, had been seen at the Moscow City Court hearing on possible replacement of Navalny’s suspended sentence under the Yces Rocher case with an actual prison term.