WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden warned Russian President Vladimir Putin ahead of their summit on Wednesday that the death of imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny would harm Russian relations with the rest of the world.
“Navalny’s death would be another indication that Russia does not have much intention of adhering to basic human rights or does not have them at all,” Biden told a news conference Monday after the NATO summit.
“It would be a tragedy. It would do nothing but harm his relationship with the rest of the world, in my opinion and towards me,” he said.
Concerns over Navalny’s imprisonment and deteriorating health are the latest blow to Moscow’s already tense relations between the West and the West.
Joint NATO statement on Monday, he said Russia’s “aggressive actions pose a threat to Euro-Atlantic security”. As some of the actions, she mentioned the accumulation of the army in Moscow, the use of cyber attacks and hybrid warfare, the annexation of Crimea and the disinformation campaign financed by the Kremlin.
As Biden prepares to meet Putin one-on-one, the White House insists the Geneva summit is not a reward for Putin, putting him on par with the United States.
Instead, the meeting will be a business review of bilateral relations. Biden will raise several urgent issues, but will also look for areas where Russia and the United States can work together.
Biden also praised Putin on Monday, saying he was “bright, tough and I found him, as they say, a worthy opponent.”
This is not the first time Biden has pressured Putin over Navalny’s situation. Shortly after taking the oath, Biden spoke to Putin on the phone and said he had told his colleague that Navalny’s prison “deeply concerned” the United States.
“Mr. Navalny, like all Russian citizens, has a right to his rights under the Russian constitution,” Biden said in a speech to U.S. diplomats. “They were targeted – targeted for exposing corruption. He should be released immediately and unconditionally.”
In January, Navalny flew to Russia from Berlin, Germany, where he spent nearly half a year recovering from poisoning last summer. He was arrested at the passport control as soon as he landed.
A month later, a A Russian court has sentenced Navalny to more than two years in prison for violating parole, charges he said were politically motivated.
The German government said Navalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent in August 2020, and that toxicological reports gave “unequivocal evidence“poison.
The nerve agent was in the Novichok family, which was developed by the Soviet Union decades ago. Toxicological tests conducted in France and Sweden came to the same conclusion.
The Kremlin has repeatedly denied that it played a role in poisoning Navalny.
It’s March The Biden administration slapped sanctions against seven members of the Russian government due to the alleged poisoning of Navalny.
Washington has also imposed sanctions against 14 entities involved in the chemical and biological industrial base in Russia.
At the time, Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a statement that sanctions would “send a clear signal” to Russia that the use of chemical weapons and human rights violations have far-reaching consequences.