Russia's Foreign Minister urges the West to stop Pussy Riot hysteria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated the following at a news conference after the talks with his Finnish counterpart: "One should not interfere with the court work. One may personally agree or disagree with the verdict passed. But it is intolerable to interfere with this work."

"As for the proportionality or disproportionality of the punishment I can follow only the factual side of the case. In Germany, acts of sacrilege and blasphemy in churches stipulate the punishment of up to three years in prison. In France it is two years as far as I remember. In Finland, as far as I could find out, blasphemous acts committed in churches also entail the punishment of two years in prison," said the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry.

At the same time, Lavrov reminded all those "who are claiming that our court wasn't making an independent decision," that before the court delivered its verdict in the Pussy Riot case, President Putin said the young women should not be judged "too harshly." The Russian Orthodox Church also advocated clemency toward them, RT reports.

The minister stressed out that no one canceled court proceedings. "In any case, no one has put an end to proper court proceedings. There is a possibility of filing an appeal. Let's not draw any rash conclusions or go off into hysterics," Lavrov stressed, as cited by Interfax agency.


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