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Biden administration calls on Russia to free jailed opposition leader Navalny as well as pro-democracy protesters

Added 01-26-21 02:14:02am EST - “The Biden administration's line on Russia is contrasting sharply with his predecessor's hand-off approach.” - Businessinsider.com

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Posted By TheNewsCommenter: From Businessinsider.com: “Biden administration calls on Russia to free jailed opposition leader Navalny as well as pro-democracy protesters”. Below is an excerpt from the article.

On Wednesday, the Biden administration strengthened its calls for Russia to release opposition figure Alexei Navalny. He also called for the release of protesters supporting Navalny, who were jailed over the weekend.

"We can both operate in the mutual self-interest of our country as a New START agreement, and make it clear to Russia that we are very concerned about their behavior, whether it's Navalny, whether it's the SolarWinds, or whether it's reports about bounties on the heads of Americans in Afghanistan," President Biden told reporters on Monday.

Biden's comments on Russia represent a stark shift from Trump's political courtship and repeated lack of condemnation of Putin.

At a later press conference, Press Secretary Jen Psaki reiterated the calls for Navalny's release. 

"We call on Russian authorities to release all those detained for exercising their universal rights and for the immediate and unconditional release of Alexei Navalny," Psaki told reporters. Over the weekend, the State Department issued a statement condemning Navalny's detention and the mass arrest of protesters. 

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