The authorities of Russia and China almost simultaneously criticized the United States for supporting protests in Moscow and Hong Kong, respectively. The Russian Foreign Ministry was not satisfied with the publication on the Twitter account of the US State Department, where the route of the unauthorized rally was posted on August 3. And the Chinese authorities condemned the meeting of American diplomats with Hong Kong’s democratic activists, who have not stopped rallies and strikes since early July. At a briefing yesterday, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova promised that at one of the coming meetings, diplomats from Russia and China will exchange views on this issue.
Tim Richardson, an adviser to the US Embassy in Russia, was called yesterday at the Russian Foreign Ministry, where he was protested in connection with the posting of an unauthorized rally in Moscow on August 3 to the U.S. Department of Consular Affairs on Twitter. The message was compiled in English and called for the Americans reading it and in the Russian Federation to “avoid the route of protests.
It is worth noting that although the information about the protests in different countries amounts to half of the messages in the account of the consular department of the State Department, the picture prepared by the organizers of the action indicating the route is contained only in the message about the events in Moscow. This was what the Russian Foreign Ministry drew attention to, assuring: it was about “campaigning in favor of participation in the rally and a call to action, which represents an attempt to intervene in the internal affairs of Russia.”
Recall that on August 3, a mass rally was held in Moscow demanding that opposition politicians be registered as candidates in the September elections to the Moscow City Duma. In addition, the protesters protested in connection with the detentions at the previous rally on July 27 and called for an end to the criminal case on the organization of the riots. As a result of protests on August 3, the police reported 600 detainees, the OVD-info portal gave information about 1001 detained demonstrators.
The authorities of France, Great Britain, Germany, and Latvia made criticisms of the actions of the Russian security forces and calls for “respecting international human rights obligations”, and the topic was raised in the European Foreign Service. In this regard, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced the inadmissibility of interference in the internal affairs of Russia, at the same time criticizing foreign media. Russian diplomats especially noted the German television channel Deutsche Welle, which, in their opinion, was engaged in campaigning for participation in unauthorized actions. The head of the United Russia faction in the State Duma, Sergei Neverov, said yesterday that foreign media interference in internal affairs could lead to “cessation of their work” in the Russian Federation.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said yesterday that the State Department’s publication of the rally’s route on August 3 was “just one example of such US behavior.” “They keep saying that you can’t use social networks for propaganda, and they themselves do it openly,” she added.
It is curious that the day before this, a protest against “interference in the internal affairs of the country” to the US authorities was also announced by the Chinese Foreign Ministry. And just as in the case of the Russian Federation, it was a question of mass actions. The reason was the news about the meeting of representatives of the US Consulate General in Hong Kong with the leaders of the Hong Kong opposition group Demosisto, who are members of the organizing committee of the protests shaking the city since early July. Protesters (up to a quarter of the population of Hong Kong) demand that Beijing stop interfering in the affairs of Chinese autonomy, investigate excessively harsh police actions, amnesty detainees at mass rallies and liberalize the election process for the city’s leadership.
After publishing photos from the meeting on the Internet, the Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed “strong dissatisfaction” with what had happened and demanded that Washington “immediately dissociate itself from various anti-Chinese rioters and stop interfering in the internal affairs of Hong Kong.” After that, the official Hong Kong-based Ta Kung Pao newspaper, supporting Beijing, published on its website the personal data of the US Consulate General Julie Ede, who met with the opposition, as well as her address and information about her children.
Such measures aroused legitimate indignation in Washington. “The dissemination of the diplomat’s personal data is not a formal protest, it’s how gangster regimes act,” said US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus. “That day, our diplomats met with representatives of official authorities, democratic activists, the American business community and consulates other countries. This is what American diplomats do every day anywhere in the world.”
Maria Zakharova said that the Russian and Chinese authorities have already realized that they are facing a common threat, and plan to hold consultations on this issue in the near future.
Zakharova clarified that this is not about the next meeting of Russian Deputy Foreign Minister with his Chinese counterpart (it is scheduled for August 13), but about subsequent contacts between diplomats of the two countries over one to two months