In Moscow, thousands of protesters marched again on Saturday (August 3rd) for free elections. Again, the police made hundreds of arrests. The firmness of the Russian authorities is provoking strong criticism, particularly in Berlin.
With our correspondent in Berlin, Luc André
In the eyes of the German government, the Moscow police acted " disproportionately ". Berlin reminds Russia of its " international obligations ": the guarantee of freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and the holding of free elections.
The German Foreign Ministry is demanding the release of all those arrested and wants to see the independent candidates running for the municipal poll on 8 September.
The tone is firm, but not unusual. The Federal Republic advocates dialogue with Russia, despite the annexation of Crimea, but regularly criticizes human rights violations. Last week, Berlin had already called for the release of the 1,400 people arrested at a similar protest. In the past, Germany has condemned with the same severity the attitude of Russian power against the opponent Alexei Navalny .
Angela Merkel can afford this franchise. Germany remains the preferred interlocutor of Russia within the European Union. And the country is an important economic partner. Despite the sanctions, German companies invest heavily in Russia: more than 3 billion euros in 2018. That is a quarter of foreign investment in the country.
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