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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

US President Biden Denounces ‘Putin and His Associates’ for Alexei Navalny’s Passing

RussiaUS President Biden Denounces 'Putin and His Associates' for Alexei Navalny's Passing

President Joe Biden squarely placed blame on Russian President Vladimir Putin for the reported passing of imprisoned Russian dissident Alexei Navalny on Friday, leveraging the case to urge House Republicans to greenlight military aid to Ukraine in its conflict with Moscow.

While Biden previously warned of “devastating” repercussions for Putin if Navalny were to die in prison, he admitted that beyond the sanctions and measures taken in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, there were limited options available.

“Let there be no mistake: Putin bears responsibility for Navalny’s passing,” Biden asserted in a televised address from the White House. “Putin is accountable. Navalny’s fate further illustrates Putin’s brutality. Nobody should be misled, neither in Russia nor anywhere else.”

In response to queries regarding Navalny’s potential assassination, Biden stated that the United States lacked a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances. “The truth is, we’re unsure of the exact events, but Navalny’s demise undoubtedly resulted from actions taken by Putin and his associates.”

While the exact details surrounding Navalny’s fate remained murky, the Biden administration dismissed the official explanation that he had simply collapsed and perished after a walk at his Arctic prison. Should foul play be confirmed, U.S. officials will need to reassess Putin’s actions. With recent events seemingly favoring Putin in Washington, some analysts suggested he might have felt emboldened to target his most prominent domestic adversary.

Nearly three years ago, Biden disclosed that he had cautioned Putin during a meeting in Geneva against harming Navalny while in custody. “I made it crystal clear to him that I believed such actions would have dire consequences for Russia,” Biden recounted to reporters following the 2021 meeting.

However, Biden acknowledged on Friday that delivering those “dire” consequences would be challenging due to the broad sanctions and penalties imposed on Moscow since Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. Nevertheless, Biden asserted, “we’re considering other options.”

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