NewsU.S. denies knowledge of Navalny swap, disputes Putin's claims

U.S. denies knowledge of Navalny swap, disputes Putin's claims

Alexei Navalny died on February 16.
Alexei Navalny died on February 16.
Images source: © Licensor | SeanGallup

7:17 AM EDT, March 19, 2024

"We haven't heard from Russian representatives about the possibility of releasing Alexei Navalny as part of a prisoner swap," National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan stated on Monday.

Jake Sullivan refuted Vladimir Putin's claim that there had been an agreement for the release of the Russian opposition leader just a few days before his death.

Russian Misrepresentations Regarding Navalny

"For months, even years, we've been in discussions with Russian officials over the release of American prisoners unjustly held in Russia. Not once did any Russian representative mention Navalny's case in these discussions. If they were indeed interested, bringing it up so late—especially now that he’s already passed away—clearly shows a lack of genuine intent," explained Jake Sullivan.

This was in response to a claim made by President Vladimir Putin on Sunday that he had consented to Navalny's release shortly before his death on the condition that he never return to Russia.

Details about the talks concerning Navalny’s release shortly before his demise were brought to light in February by Maria Piewczych, an associate of the opposition leader. She suggested that Navalny was to be exchanged for Vadim Krasikov, a Russian FSB operative convicted in Germany of the high-profile murder of Zelimkhan Khangoshvili, a former Chechen and Georgian officer.

An advisor to President Joe Biden also touched upon Vladimir Putin's re-election, highlighting that the election results in Russia were predetermined and neither free nor fair.

He clarified that while the United States would continue to engage with the reality of Putin's next term, it does not endorse the legitimacy of the elections as free or fair.

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