MOSCOW, March 27 The Kremlin on Monday rejected
calls by the United States and the European Union to release
opposition protesters detained during what it said were illegal
demonstrations on Sunday and accused organisers of paying
teenagers to attend.
Police detained hundreds of protesters across Russia on
Sunday, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after
thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against corruption
and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, talking to reporters on a
conference call, called the protests "a provocation" and said
the authorities were concerned that opposition activists would
try to encourage people to break the law again in future.
Peskov said that the Kremlin would however listen to what
people who took part in sanctioned anti-government protests in
some Russian cities had said on Sunday.
(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Kevin O'Flynn)