MOSCOW, February 15. /TASS/. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has explained Russia’s position on the situation around opposition blogger Alexey Navalny and the expulsion of European diplomats.
"Mr. Minister (Finland’s top diplomat - TASS) raised the topic of the situation around Alexey Navalny, the situation with the expulsion of three Western European diplomats for their participation in illegal rallies in Moscow and other cities in late January," he told a news conference after his talks with Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. "We explained to him in detail what are the motives behind our position on these matters."
The Russian foreign ministry said on February 5 that a Swedish, a Polish and a German diplomats had been declared personae non gratae in Russia following their participation in unauthorized protests in Moscow and St. Petersburg on January 23. On February 8, these countries announced expulsion of Russian diplomats as a response measure.