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Biden meets with Navalny’s family, touts Putin critic’s ‘incredible courage’

Click to play video: 'Biden meets with Navalny’s wife and daughter, commends family’s ‘incredible courage’'
Biden meets with Navalny’s wife and daughter, commends family’s ‘incredible courage’
WATCH: Biden meets with Navalny's wife and daughter, commends family's 'incredible courage' – Feb 22, 2024

U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday met the wife and daughter of Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader who died last week in a prison camp, and called him “a man of incredible courage.”

Biden, speaking to reporters in California, reiterated that Washington plans to impose a wide array of sanctions on Russia and its leader Vladimir Putin following Navalny’s death.

Navalny, 47, fell unconscious and died suddenly last Friday after a walk at the “Polar Wolf” penal colony above the Arctic Circle where he was serving a three-decade sentence, the prison service said.

“He was a man of incredible courage and it’s amazing how his wife and daughter are emulating that,” Biden said after meeting Navalny’s wife Yulia and daughter Dasha.

“I know that we’re going to be announcing the sanctions against Putin, who is responsible for his death, tomorrow.”

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Click to play video: 'Navalny death: U.S. preparing ‘major’ Russian sanctions'
Navalny death: U.S. preparing ‘major’ Russian sanctions

In a statement released before Biden spoke to reporters, the White House said the president conveyed his “heartfelt condolences” to Navalny’s family.

During the meeting in California, he expressed his admiration for Navalny’s “extraordinary courage and his legacy of fighting against corruption and for a free and democratic Russia in which the rule of law applies equally to everyone,” the White House said.

Sanctions to be announced Friday

Sanctions will be imposed on more than 500 targets in an action marking the second anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Deputy U.S. Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo told Reuters on Thursday.

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The action, taken in partnership with other countries, will be targeted at Russia’s military industrial complex as well as companies in third countries that help facilitate Russia’s access to goods it wants, Adeyemo said, as Washington seeks to hold Russia to account over the war and the death of Navalny.

“Tomorrow we’ll release hundreds of sanctions just here in the United States, but it’s important to step back and remember that it’s not just America taking these actions,” Adeyemo said.

He said the sanctions are aimed at ensuring Russia cannot get access to the goods required to build weapons and slowing down Russia’s access to revenues it needs to prop up their economy and build weapons.

The package will be the latest of thousands of sanctions targeting Moscow announced by the United States and its allies following Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, which has killed tens of thousands and reduced cities to rubble.

–Reporting by Jasper Ward, Trevor Hunnicutt, Daphne Psaledakis, Andrea Shalal and David Lawder; Editing by David Ljunggren, Daniel Wallis, Leslie Adler and Sandra Maler

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