US denies negotiating Navalny’s release with Russia

Alexei Navalny at a court hearing
Alexei Navalny at a court hearing

The Russian side never mentioned an option to exchange or release Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to U.S. officials, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on March 18.

Read also: Laying flowers for Navalny? Beware of Moscow police

Sullivan stated that for "months and years," Washington discussed the potential release of U.S. citizens unjustly detained in Russia but that the idea of a swap for Navalny had never been brought up by Russian officials.

He also noted that if Moscow had been interested in such an exchange, the suggestion came too late.

"While he was alive, we heard nothing of the sort from them," Sullivan added.

Read also: Serb President ‘horrified’ by Russian actions on Navalny, could affect Serb-Russian ties – Vučić

Previously, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin said that days before Navalny's death, he had agreed to the idea of exchanging him for "certain individuals detained in Western countries."

Read also: Putin’s spokesperson clarifies dictator’s comments on proposal to exchange Navalny

Russian authorities announced the death of 47-year-old Navalny on Feb. 16. He was in a penal colony in the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug in the Russian Far North.

Navalny's associates confirmed his death the next day.

He was buried on March 1 at the Borisovsky Cemetery in Moscow. The ambassadors of the European Union and United States attended the funeral.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine