25 September 2012, 16:50
European Parliament's Pussy Riot proposal interference in Russia's affairs – Dolgov
Moscow, September 25, Interfax - The idea of nominating the Pussy Riot punk trio for the Andrey Sakharov Prize, proposed by members of the European Parliament, is an instance of interfering in Russia's affairs, said Konstantin Dolgov, the Russian Foreign Ministry's commissioner for human rights, democracy and rule of law.
"This initiative cannot be qualified in any other way except an attempt to intervene in the work of an independent branch of authority in Russia, and to cast doubts on a court ruling, passed in accordance with the law," Dolgov said in a commentary, posted on the Foreign Ministry's website on Tuesday.
"We are convinced that the rulings passed by independent courts, including Russian, must be respected," the Russian diplomat said.
He said, "respect will hopefully be demonstrated for Sakharov's memory and for millions of Orthodox believers, whose rights and feelings were impaired in the aforementioned unlawful act."
Moscow hopes its European partners will show common sense, he also said.
"Importantly, a Russian court found the singers guilty of hooliganism, motivated by religious enmity. In addition to this, the nature, goals and forms of their action have nothing to do with freedom of thinking, which, by the way, they acknowledged during the court hearing," he said.
Deputies of the European Parliament earlier nominated the Pussy Riot punk trio, who staged an anti-Putin act at the Christ the Savior Cathedral on February 21, for the Andrey Sakharov Prize instituted by the European Union.
The presentation of the nominees will be held in Brussels on September 25, while the award presentation ceremony will take place in Strasbourg in December.