Putin`s government was criticised by many officials from different countries following serious clashes between the police and protesters.
Dozens were injured while some were arrested after taking to the streets calling for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny`s release in Moscow on Saturday. Navalny was arrested on 17 January following his return to Russia from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned with a nerve agent.
Many EU countries as well as the United States and Britain condemned the Russian government prompting the European Union foreign ministers to consider potential “next steps”. The French foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, described the mass arrest of dozens of protesters in several Russia cities as “an intolerable affront” and a “slide towards authoritarianism”.
During the protests, a spokeswoman for the US embassy in Moscow, Rebecca Ros, took to Twitter to react to Kremlin`s harsh treatment of demonstrators saying, “the US supports the right of all people to peaceful protest, freedom of expression. Steps being taken by Russian authorities are suppressing those rights”.
Following the US` remarks, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, expressed the comments were“inappropriate,”, and accused Washington of “interference in our internal affairs”.
Poland’s president, Andrzej Duda, said: “The only way to [avoid conflict] is to force international law to be observed. The only way to do this without rifles, cannons and bombs is via sanctions.”