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Russia dismisses outcry over detention of Kremlin foe Navalny

epa08613842 (FILE) - Russian opposition leader and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny (C) takes part in a memorial march for Boris Nemtsov marking the fifth anniversary of his assassination in Moscow, Russia, 29 February 2020 (reissued 20 August 2020). Navalny?s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on social media on 20 August that the opposition leader and staunch critic of President Vladimir Putin was taken to hospital for alleged poisoning after he started feeling unwell during a flight from Siberia to Moscow. The plane made an emergency landing in the city of Omsk. EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV

MOSCOW, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday dismissed what he called the 'artificial resonance' of the case of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny in the West and said Moscow was not concerned about damage to its image.

“We should probably think about our image, but we’re not young ladies going to a ball,” Lavrov told reporters at his annual news conference.

The comments came after police detained Navalny, 44, on his arrival in Moscow late on Sunday after he flew home from Germany for the first time since he was poisoned last summer.

Lavrov said Germany had not provided Russia with material evidence that the prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin was poisoned and that Russia saw no grounds to open a criminal investigation.

(Reporting by Tom Balmforth and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by Toby Chopra and Philippa Fletcher)

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