The Russian Foreign Ministry announced the expulsion of three foreign diplomats for participating in unauthorized rallies in support of Alexei Navalny ( founder of the FBK, included by the Ministry of Justice in the register of organizations performing the functions of a foreign agent ). This is stated on the website of the department.
Diplomats from Poland, Sweden and Germany were summoned to the ministry. They were protesting over their participation in unauthorized actions on 23 January. The Foreign Ministry also confirmed that the diplomats were declared persona non grata, and they would have to leave the country in the near future.
Earlier, the EUobserver edition wrote about this with reference to sources in the EU. The Russian side allegedly made a decision to expel diplomats during a joint press conference by EU head of diplomacy Josep Borrell and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
On February 4, a group of American senators submitted to the US Congress a bill on sanctions against Russia over the situation with Alexei Navalny. After that, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that Moscow had prepared for a “serious conversation” with Washington about the comments of the US authorities regarding the Russian protests.
On February 2, the Simonovsky Court of Moscow replaced Alexei Navalny's suspended sentence with a real one, sentencing him to 3.5 years in a general regime colony. However, he will spend two years and eight months in custody – he was credited with the year of house arrest he was under during the preliminary investigation of the Yves Rocher case.