"In regard to the 'concerns' expressed by several representatives from the United States and the European Union over the sentencing of the Navalny brothers found guilty of embezzlement, I would like to recommend that Washington and Brussels leave their attempts to pressure the Russian judicial system behind and not to politicize a clearly criminal case," Konstantin Dolgov said in a statement posted on the Foreign Ministry's website.
On Tuesday, US State Department spokesperson Jeff Rathke called the verdict against the Navalny brothers a "disturbing development" and said that it was designed "to punish and deter political activism" in Russia.
Earlier in the day, a Moscow court handed down a suspended sentence of 3.5 years to Alexei Navalny in a case involving alleged embezzlement from the Yves Rocher cosmetics company. Navalny's brother, Oleg was sentenced to a real prison term of 3.5 years.
The prosecution initially requested 10 years imprisonment for Alexei and eight for Oleg, who was also fined 500,000 rubles ($9,000). The brothers were fined an additional 4.4 million rubles ($77,500) in a civil case involving the Multifunctional Processing Company.