White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki has news for the Vladimir Putin spokesman who told CNN that poisoned and jailed dissident Alexey Navalny won’t come up at President Joe Biden’s upcoming summit with the Russian president.
And when asked how Putin would handle the subject if it came up, Peskov said “Well, there is nothing to discuss about it. There is nothing to discuss about this gentleman. He’s in prison, and he is not a subject for the agenda of our bilateral relations.”
TAPPER: Putin’s spokesperson told CNN that the poisoning and the jailing of dissident Alexey Navalny is not on the agenda of the meeting. Is that true?
PSAKI: It may not be on his agenda, and that’s not a surprise, but certainly the president has every intention to raise human rights abuses, the jailing of dissidents and activists, which is a violation of what we feel should be norms around the world.
TAPPER: How about Trevor Reed and Paul Whelan, Americans in Russian jails right now on very fishy charges?
PSAKI: Agree, Jake, and we’ve raised that at many levels, raised their jailing at many levels. And certainly, again, human rights abuses, the jailing of individuals, of course, of Americans, will all be part of the discussion. The president is not going to hold back in raising issues where he has concern and he’ll be straightforward and direct with President Putin. That’s the benefit of meeting in person. That’s different than a phone call.
The president will meet with Putin on Wednesday in Geneva, Switzerland, after which, the White House has announced, he will conduct a solo press conference.
Watch the clip above via CNN.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org