US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday condemned the detention of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny by a Russian court as a violation of his rights and demanded his release.
“We reiterate our call on the Russian government to immediately and unconditionally release Mr. Navalny and the hundreds of other Russian citizens who have been unjustly detained in recent weeks for exercising their rights, including freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.” Said blinking in a statement.
Describing the United States as “deeply concerned”, Blinken said Navalny was entitled to rights under the Russian Constitution and that Moscow had “international obligations to respect equality before the law and the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly”.
In a sign of close Allied coordination, the statement resembled the one made by Britain, even shortly after the Moscow court ruling that Navalny would spend time in prison.
Navalny returned to Moscow last month after recovering from doctor poisoning and motivated thousands to take to the streets in support of alleging corruption of President Vladimir Putin.
“Even if we work with Russia to advance US interests, we will work closely with our allies and partners to hold Russia accountable for failing to exercise the rights of its citizens,” Blinken said as President Joe Biden are preparing for the expansion of the New START Nuclear reduction agreement with Moscow.
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