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Biden to speak at noon on Navalny’s death, White House says

In World
February 16, 2024

WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden will deliver remarks at the White House at 12 p.m. ET (1700 GMT) on Friday on the reported death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the White House said.

The White House was seeking more information about Navalny’s death at a Russian penal colony north of the Arctic Circle, where he was dispatched less than two months ago.

The development has put a further chill into already bitter U.S.-Russian relations.

The 47-year-old Navalny had been a leading critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Biden had said after meeting Putin in Geneva in June 2021 that Nalvany’s death would risk devastating consequences for Putin.

Biden and Putin remain deeply at odds over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine two years ago, and Biden is urging Republican hardliners in the U.S. Congress to support additional funding to pay for more weaponry for Ukraine’s military.

Russia has figured prominently on the campaign trail as Biden seeks re-election in November.

His expected Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, triggered bipartisan outrage last week by saying he would do nothing to defend NATO allies from Russia unless they paid a greater share for the common defenses.

The top Republican in Congress, House of Representatives Speaker Mike Johnson has not put a Senate bill for new funding for Ukraine up to a vote. After Navalny’s death, he said the U.S. and its allies should use “every means available to cut off Putin’s ability to fund his unprovoked war in Ukraine and aggression against the Baltic states.” REUTERS

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