Russia has expelled diplomats from three European countries for supporting and participating in protests against the arrest of opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Thousands have taken to the streets in recent days to protest the arrest and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Russia, while Russian police have arrested hundreds.
Diplomats from several countries also took part in the protests, after which Russia has taken a big step.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, diplomats from European countries Germany, Sweden and Poland have been expelled for participating in “illegal” protests.
European countries have strongly protested Russia’s decision, while Germany has threatened retaliation if it does not reconsider.
Poland has denied any involvement in the protests.
Note that Navalny had just returned home five months later and was detained at the airport, after which protests erupted across Russia in the last week of January.
The Russian government has rejected opposition leader Alexei Navalny claimed of plotting to assassinate him by putting poison on his pants.
Alexei Navalny had said in his recorded statement that an agent of the state intelligence agency had told him that the poison was kept in his underwear, among other things.
Navalny said in a YouTube interview with a Russian blogger, “They understood that there were big, big problems threatening them ahead of elections for the State Duma.” It was his first video appearance since being discharged from a Berlin hospital,
Dmitry Peskov, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told reporters that he thinks Alexei Navalny was a sick man who suffered psychological complexes surrounding authority and power.
Peskov said, Navalny has “delusions of persecution” and also exhibited clear “traits of megalomania”.
On social networking site Twitter, Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said that Putin himself had recently confirmed that state agents were keeping an eye on Navalny.
The 44-year-old anti-corruption campaigner, one of Putin’s biggest critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was rushed to Germany for medical treatment after falling into a plane in August.
A statement from Germany stated that “Navalny was poisoned in the style of Novichok” and that this statement had been accepted by many Western countries.
British officials had said that the Soviet-era Novichok was the poison used in 2018 in England against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
Russia has said the Kremlin had no role in poisoning Navalny and accused Germany of failing to provide evidence.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Josef Maas said in a statement on Sunday that Russia’s response to Navalny’s case would determine whether Germany would continue its long-standing support for the Nordstream 2 pipeline project. It will be a source of gas from Russia to Germany.
Earlier, the German chancellor insisted that the gas pipeline project and the Navalny murder case be kept separate, which was strongly opposed by the United States, but Russia supported the position.