Updated February 23rd, 2024 at 14:47 IST

Biden Meets Late Russian Opposition Leader Alexei Navalny's Wife & Daughter, Expresses Condolences

US President Joe Biden met Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny's wife Yulia Navalnaya and his daughter Dasha in California on Thursday.

Reported by: Bhagyasree Sengupta
US President Joe Biden meets Putin critic Alexei Navalny's wife Yulia Navalnaya and daughter Dasha Navalnaya | Image:X - @POTUS

California – Days after Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny passed away at a distant penal colony in Russia, US President Joe Biden met his wife Yulia Navalnaya and his daughter Dasha Navalnaya. According to CBC News, the meeting was held in California on Thursday and during the brief sit-down, the American Commander-in-Chief shared “heartfelt condolences” over Navalny's death. Earlier this week, Navalnaya released a nine-minute-long emotional video, in which she pledged to continue the works of the Russian opposition leader. Navalny who was touted as one of the most prominent critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin was serving his prison sentence at a remote Arctic penal colony. He passed away on February 16, after he collapsed suddenly while walking. 

“Today, I met with Yulia and Dasha Navalnaya – Aleksey Navalny's loved ones – to express my condolences for their devastating loss,” the POTUS wrote on X, formally known as Twitter and shared images from the meeting. “Aleksey's legacy of courage will live on in Yulia and Dasha, and the countless people across Russia fighting for democracy and human rights,” he added. In the images shared by Biden, the US President can be seen welcoming the Russian widow with a warm embrace. 


Meanwhile, the White House released a statement after the meeting in which they mentioned what the two parties discussed. "The President expressed his admiration for Aleksey Navalny's extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia in which the rule of law applies equally to everyone," the White House in the statement which was released on Thursday. “The President emphasized that Aleksey's legacy will carry on through people across Russia and around the world mourning his loss and fighting for freedom, democracy, and human rights," the statment further reads. 


US to announce sanctions against Putin 

Shortly after the meeting, Biden addressed the local reporters in Los Angeles and mentioned that Navalny was a “man of incredible courage”. “This morning I had the honour of meeting with Alexey Navalny's wife and daughter. As to state the obvious, he was a man of incredible courage. And it's amazing how his wife and daughter are emulating that,” the US President told the local reporters on Thursday. Biden also mentioned that his administration would be announcing sanctions against Putin, who is responsible for [Navalny's] death". According to CBS News, the targets of the American sanctions will include companies, banks and individuals both inside and outside Russia. 


Meanwhile, the US Department of Treasury announced on Friday that the department will impose over 500 sanctions on Russia and “its enablers”. It is pertinent to note that this will be the largest set of sanctions imposed on Russia ever since the commencement of the Russia-Ukraine war. Meanwhile, Navalny's death remains shrouded in mystery. On Thursday, the Russian opposition leader's mother Lyudmila Navalnaya said that the officials had allowed her to see his body but asked her to conduct a “quiet burial”. "They are blackmailing me, they are setting conditions where, when and how my son should be buried," she said. "They want it to do it secretly without a mourning ceremony." In her video,  Navalnaya accused the Russian authorities of killing her husband, with what she called a “Soviet-era nerve agent”. A Kremlin spokesperson on the other hand has denied the allegation and called them  "absolutely unfounded, insolent accusations about the head of the Russian state."


Published February 23rd, 2024 at 12:24 IST