Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Russia summons U.S., UK and Canadian ambassadors

Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned the U.S., British and Canadian ambassadors for a dressing down on Tuesday after they condemned the conviction of an opposition politician on treason charges. The Russian Foreign Ministry accused the three ambassadors of “crude interference in Russia’s internal affairs and activity incompatible with their diplomatic status”, Interfax news agency reported. There was no immediate comment from the three embassies. The U.S., British and Canadian ambassadors had made a joint appearance in front of TV cameras on the steps of the Moscow court on Monday to condemn the verdict against Kara-Murza and demand his release. British Ambassador Deborah Bronnert delivered her remarks in Russian so that Russian-language TV channels could potentially broadcast them. In a statement issued on Tuesday, the foreign ministry called Bronnert’s remarks “inappropriate” and “provocative” and said they ran counter to the British embassy’s status and to diplomatic norms. The ministry said the fact that Kara-Murza had a British passport in addition to his Russian one meant nothing in the eyes of Russian law. (https://neuters.de/world/europe/russia-warns-western-diplomats-expulsion-risk-after-meddling-dissidents-case-2023-04-18/) A Moscow court jailed Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza – who holds Russian and British passports – for 25 years on Monday after a trial he and the West said was politically motivated. It was the harshest sentence of its kind since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Kara-Murza, 41, had lobbied Western governments for sanctions that were later imposed on Russia and individual Russians for purported human rights violations, and condemned what Moscow calls its “special military operation” in Ukraine.

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