Biden Threatens to 'Raise the Cost on Russia,' Demands Navalny's Release

joe biden wears a mask and stands in front of a flag talking with his hands

(Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden on Thursday issued a warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the sentencing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny to over two years in prison, sayingthe U.S. ''will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia.''

Biden said in a statement on his foreign policy, the first of his presidency, that he ''made it very clear to President Putin in a manner very different from my predecessor that the days of the United States rolling over in the face of Russian aggressive actions, interfering with our elections, cyberattacks, poisoning its citizens, are over.''

He added, ''We will not hesitate to raise the cost on Russia and defend our vital interests and our people, and we will be more effective in dealing with Russia when we work in coalition and coordination with other like-minded partners.''

Biden went on to demand that Putin release Navalny, who was detained last month and sentenced to more than two years in prison for failing to remain in contact with his parole officer after he was poisoned and rendered comatose in 2020.

''Mr. Navalny, like all Russian citizens, is entitled to his rights under the Russian constitution,'' the president said. ''He’s been targeted for exposing corruption and should be released immediately and without condition.''

Biden added, ''The Russian efforts to suppress freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are a matter of deep concern to us and the international community.''




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