Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov urged Western countries Tuesday to reject “mass anti-Russian psychosis” amid growing tensions.
“We call on all parties to calm down, reject the mass anti-Russian psychosis and hold a constructive dialogue in order to overcome the existing differences,” Peskov said, according to TASS.
— Reuters (@Reuters) April 20, 2021
“Russia always reacts to hostilities. We cannot tolerate that,” Peskov added. “But we remain open to a dialogue.”
The U.S. imposed sanctions on Russia in early March for “the Russian Federation’s use of a chemical weapon in the attempted assassination of Russian opposition figure Aleksey Navalny in August 2020 and his subsequent imprisonment in January 2021,” according to the statement by the U.S. Department of State. (RELATED: American Ambassador To Russia John Sullivan Returning To Washington As Tensions Heighten)
President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan warned Sunday that “there will be consequences” for Russia if Navalny dies in prison, according to Reuters.
The Kremlin’s statement comes after the Sunday expulsion of 20 Czech Republic diplomats from Russia. Moscow reportedly retaliated to Prague’s earlier decision to order out 18 Russian diplomats.
The Kremlin promised to “force the authors of this provocation to fully understand their responsibility for destroying the foundation of normal ties between our countries” at the time, according to Reuters.
Czech authorities had implicated Russian spies in a case related to a huge ammunition depot explosion in 2014, Euronews reported. The same “spies” were reportedly accused of 2018 nerve agent poisoning of former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal.