A Russian court on Tuesday jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny to a three-and-a-half-year sentence, though his lawyer said he would serve only two years and eight months in jail because of time he has already spent under house arrest, Reuters reports.
The United States, Britain and Germany urged Moscow to immediately free Navalny. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US would coordinate closely with allies to hold Russia accountable.
Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's most prominent critics, was arrested on January 17 for alleged parole violations after returning from Germany, where he had been recovering from being poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent.
Tuesday's hearing focused on Navalny's alleged parole violations over a suspended sentence in a 2014 embezzlement case Navalny says was trumped up.
In a speech to the court, Navalny alleged he was jailed because of Putin's concerns about him as a political rival.
"Someone did not want me to take a single step on my country´s territory as a free man. And we know who and we know why - the hatred and fear of one man, living in a bunker, whom I offended by surviving when he tried to have me killed," Navalny told the court from inside a glass cage, according to Reuters.