MOSCOW, March 27. /TASS/. Western countries’ reaction to unsanctioned protests in Moscow and the rest of Russia over the weekend was a double-standard reaction, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Monday.
"I proceed from the stance that each country has laws, based among other things on the universal criteria, - and in this particular case on the criteria, stipulated by the international pact on civil and political rights - envisaging freedom of speech and the right for gatherings as well as exceptions when it concerns the state security and the moral well-being of society," Lavrov said.
"Before this pact was recognized, one of the prominent figures said that the freedom is to abide by laws," he said. "Therefore, the laws, which are stipulated in the universal international legal tool of sovereign states to impose restrictions on events that may result in mass unrests, are the basis of this freedom we are talking about."
Commenting on the public reaction regarding protests in Moscow and other cities across Russia," the Russian foreign minister said he "heard reaction only from official executives from a number of European countries and the United States."
"When events of the same level provoke different reaction all we can think of in this regard is infamous double standard," Lavrov said. "I cannot remember, when somebody expressed a strong and public reaction regarding the decisions, recently made in Austria, Holland, Germany, where the authorities banned holding certain protests," Lavrov said.
"It did not concern anyone and nobody said anything about it," the top Russian diplomat added.
Commenting on reported detentions of protesters during the unauthorized rallies in Russia on Sunday, Lavrov said such instances were registered previously in other countries as well, but went largely unnoticed.
"Considering the detentions, I remember how in a number of European capitals and in the United States police dealt with such violators resorting, among other means, to the use of batons and tear gas, in case protesters gathered in locations, which they were banned from, and followed among the routes, which were not sanctioned," he said.
"Russian journalists were also in such situations, particularly an RT (Russian Today) crew in the United States, where they were detained trying to deliver a report on some sort of unrest connected with protests," Lavrov said.