According to a pool survey, Biden said, “It’s totally, totally unfair,” “Absolutely inappropriate.”
Navalny was arrested in January after returning to Russia from Germany, where he had spent several months recovering from a poisoning he blamed on Russia, which the government has refuted. He was sentenced to more than two years in jail on allegations he claims are false. He is being detained in Matrosskaya Tishina, an infamous jail.
Navalny, who has been on a hunger strike for almost three weeks, said in an Instagram article that an official told him his health was deteriorating and that if he did not feed, he would be force-fed. Since experiencing extreme back pain and leg numbness in jail, Navalny requested that his psychiatrist see him. Navalny’s wife has said that he has difficulty communicating.
Navalny’s doctor said Saturday he “could die at any moment.”
Biden’s remarks Saturday’s event at a golf club in Wilmington, Delaware, comes only days after President Donald Trump imposed fresh sanctions on the Kremlin and recalled Russian diplomats from the United States. The Biden administration is attempting to clamp down on the Kremlin over, among other items, its attempts to meddle in the 2020 election, SolarWinds cyber espionage activities, and the country’s occupation of Crimea. As a result, Russia expelled U.S. diplomats and banned several prominent U.S. officials from Russia, including Attorney General Merrick Garland.
“I was clear with President Putin that we could have gone further, but I chose not to do so. I chose to be proportionate,” Biden said Thursday. “The United States is not looking to kick off a cycle of escalation and conflict with Russia. We want a stable, predictable relationship.”
In a speech about Russia on Thursday, Biden made no mention of Navalny, and a readout of his Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin made no mention of him either, but the Biden administration has previously called for his release. In his first call with Putin as president, Biden expressed doubt about the Kremlin’s handling of Navalny. In addition, the administration chastised Russia for arresting thousands of protesters marching in favour of Navalny in January.