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16 Feb, 2024 21:24

Russian Foreign Ministry comments on Western reactions to Navalny’s death

Statements blaming Moscow came within minutes and seemed to follow a template
Russian Foreign Ministry comments on Western reactions to Navalny’s death

The US and its European allies seem to have used prepared talking points to immediately blame Russia for the passing of blogger Alexey Navalny in a Siberian prison, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Navalny, 47, collapsed during his daily walk and was later pronounced dead. The cause of death is still being established. 

Western reactions “once again demonstrated their hypocrisy, cynicism and lack of principles,” the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said in a statement.

The Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region announced Navalny’s death at 2:19pm Moscow time, and “a torrent of carbon-copy accusations began pouring in literally 15 minutes later.”

The first message came from Swedish Foreign Minister Tobias Billstrom (“heinous crime”) and Norwegian Foreign Minister Bart Eide (“heavy burden of responsibility”) at 2:35pm, while Latvian President Edgars Rinkevics chimed in with (“brutally murdered”) six minutes later.

Czech FM Jan Lipavsky followed suit, accusing Russia of being “a cruel state that kills people who dream of a beautiful, better future.” A minute later, France’s Stephane Sejourne claimed Navalny had fought “the system of oppression.”

The EU “holds the Russian regime solely responsible for this tragic death,” European Council President Charles Michel said at 3:02pm. Eight minutes later, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that Navalny was “obviously killed by [Russian President Vladimir] Putin.”

The litany was continued by Dutch PM Mark Rutte (“unprecedented cruelty”) at 3:20pm, Moldovan President Maia Sandu (“blatant oppression”) ten minutes later, and German FM Annalena Baerbock five minutes after that, declaring that Navalny “had to die” because he was “a symbol of a free and democratic Russia.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen piped up after that, followed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and finally French President Emmanuel Macron, at 5:28pm.

Within just two hours, Western politicians and media were able to “obtain the results of a forensic examination that had not yet been carried out, conduct an investigation, blame Moscow and render a verdict,” the Russian Foreign Ministry noted, suggesting that the reactions must have been prepared ahead of time and according to a “blame Russia no matter what” template.

“We might be able to believe in this incredible, miraculous speed if the whole world had not just watched the helpless ‘investigation’ of terrorist attacks on the Nord Stream gas pipeline that stretched out over many months and turned up empty,” the ministry added.