Russia slams Western pressure over Khodorkovsky

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The Russian foreign ministry Tuesday slammed "unacceptable" pressure over the Mikhail Khodorkovsky trial after the United States and some EU states criticised the guilty verdict for the jailed tycoon.

"Attempts to exert pressure on the court are unacceptable," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"We expect everyone to mind his own business, both at home and in the international arena," it said, using an unusually sharp tone for a diplomatic statement.

"Assertions about some kind of selective application of justice in Russia are groundless: Russian courts consider thousands of cases related to entrepreneurs' responsibility towards the law."

The verdict provoked a strong reaction in the West, with the White House saying it was "deeply concerned" about the "selective application of justice".

France called for rule of law in Russia, while Germany said the verdict was a step backward for Russia.

© 2010 AFP

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