Kremlin says Russia will not heed U.S. calls to free protesters

Reuters News
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Posted: Jun 13, 2017 7:20 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Russian authorities would not pay attention to U.S. calls to release anti-government demonstrators who were detained on Monday during protests organized by opposition leader Alexei Navalny.

"We disagree when the question is put this way. This is not the sort of calls we should be listening to," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a conference call with reporters.

The United States condemned Russia's crackdown on anti-corruption protesters on Monday, calling on Moscow to release "peaceful" demonstrators detained by the police.

Peskov said the authorities had not acted against protesters who had agreed their actions in advance.

"As for those who indulged in provocative actions, breaking the law, in this case the authorities took action against them in full compliance with our legislation," said Peskov.

He also said that Russia took a negative view of a U.S. Senate deal on wider sanctions against Russia.

U.S. senators reached an agreement on Monday on legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia, including a provision that would prevent the White House from easing, suspending or ending sanctions without congressional approval.

(Reporting by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)