Blinken Speaks at Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Hearing
U.S. Secretary of State candidate Anthony Blinken said that President-elect Joe Biden’s administration strongly condemns Russian attempts to silence Alexei Navalny, who he believes represents the views of millions of Russians.
“Their views need to be heard in Russia,” Blinken said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
Referring to the detention of Alexei Navalny in Moscow after his return from Germany, Blinken said, “It’s amazing how much Vladimir Putin appears to be afraid of one man. I suppose this is a pretty telling moment.”
In his remarks, Blinken also stressed that Russia remains a challenge for the U.S. and that the new administration will take that challenge seriously.
“There’s a lot to discuss. And this is at the very top of the new administration’s agenda,” the candidate for U.S. secretary of state said.
Navalny’s detention was previously condemned by the current head of the U.S. State Department, Mike Pompeo.
“Confident political leaders do not fear the votes of their opponents, do not use violence against their political opponents, and do not make illegal arrests,” Pompeo said.
Navalny returned to Russia from Germany on January 17 and was detained at the airport. The next day, a court sent him to a pre-trial detention center for 30 days.