MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. The West’s hysteria over the situation with Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny has gone overboard, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a joint news conference after talks with his Jordanian counterpart Ayman Safadi.
"In regard to the events happening in Russia, and not only with Navalny, the West’s coverage is selective and one-sided," Lavrov emphasized. "That hysteria, which we have heard concerning the trial in the Navalny case, has gone way over the top."
Russia’s foreign minister noted that in Germany, France, the United States and other Western countries demonstrators face huge fines and even lengthy jail terms for marching on roadways or disrupting the regular operation of public transportation.
"When it comes to crowds partaking in illegal rallies, [their] police handle them [their protestors] far more harshly than our law enforcement does [with ours]," Lavrov pointed out.
According to Lavrov, in order to hold a discussion with Western partners based on facts, the Foreign Ministry has made a video showing how illegal rallies are quashed in the West and how Russian police respond to domestic riots.“Today, I sent this [video] to Brussels to High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell so that while preparing for his upcoming visit to Moscow on Friday, he could familiarize himself with how we see an objective picture based on certain facts from both sides rather than allegations, which our Western colleagues have gotten used to," Lavrov specified. "This refers to the case of the Skripals, the so-called poisoning of Navalny, and those events happening in connection with his arrest and yesterday’s court sentence."
Lavrov noted that he understands those who believe that Russia could have responded more aggressively to flagrantly arrogant and inappropriate rhetoric coming from the West. "However, in our diplomatic and political culture we are not accustomed to stooping to rude rhetoric." "We are polite people and we are used to achieving our goals, and ensuring justice in a polite and civilized way," he stressed.
"We have a good saying that should be also remembered: an iron fist in a velvet glove," he noted. The top diplomat stressed that those who consider these polite manners as a manifestation of weakness are very wrong.