Friday, April 12, 2024

Biden blames Putin over Navalny death

The death of Alexei Navalny has brought new urgency to the need for Congress to approve tens of billions of dollars of aid for Ukraine, US President Joe Biden has stated, blasting Russian President Vladimir Putin for the death of the country's activist.

The US president put the blame for Navalny’s death squarely on Putin, adding “I hope to God it helps” push US lawmakers to send more aid to Ukraine.

Biden said “history is watching” lawmakers in the House of Representatives, who have not moved to take up a Senate-passed bill that would send a $60bn military aid package to Ukraine, whose troops US officials say are running out of critical munitions on the battlefield.

“The failure to support Ukraine at this critical moment will never be forgotten,” Biden continued, adding, “And the clock is ticking. This has to happen. We have to help now.”

He also criticized House Republicans for letting the chamber enter a two-week recess without moving on the Ukraine funding.

“What are they thinking? My God,” Biden stated.

“This is bizarre, and it’s just reinforcing all of the concern – I won’t say panic but real concern – about the United States being a responsible ally.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday the US and its European allies seem to have used prepared talking points to immediately blame Russia for the passing of Navalny in his Siberian prison,

Navalny, 47, collapsed during his daily walk and was later pronounced dead. The cause of death is still being established.

Western reactions “once again demonstrated their hypocrisy, cynicism and lack of principles”, the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said in a statement.

The Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia for Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Region announced Navalny’s death at 2:19pm Moscow time, and “a torrent of carbon-copy accusations began pouring in literally 15 minutes later”.

President of the European Council Charles Michel said the EU “holds the Russian regime solely responsible for this tragic death”.

Earlier, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that Navalny was “obviously killed by Putin.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen piped up after that, followed by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and finally French President Emmanuel Macron.

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