On Monday, June 1, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov referred to the upcoming meeting between the two presidents in Switzerland and said Putin would question Biden over the political persecution of the January 6 protesters on Capitol Hill.
The minister said at a press conference that the human and civil rights of the opposition, i.e. Trump supporters, are being violated.
“We are closely watching the persecution of people involved in storming of the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021,” Lavrov said. “We are ready to talk. We have no taboo topics. We will discuss whatever we think is necessary. We will be ready to answer the questions that the American side will raise. This also applies to human rights.”
The Russian official’s comments were apparently in response to Biden’s accusations against Putin over the imprisonment of popular political dissident Alexei Navalny, who survived an assassination attempt by poisoning and is currently in prison for violating his parole, according to the Russian government.
Mr. Navalny has received two suspended sentences for embezzlement in July 2013 and December 2014. According to his supporters, the Kremlin used this criminal record to keep him from running for office.
Biden referred to the situation of the political dissident and assured that he would claim it to the Russian leader: “I’m meeting with President Putin in a couple weeks in Geneva, making it clear we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights.”
The Russian foreign minister said that “a lot of really interesting things are happening from the point of view of the rights of the opposition and protecting those rights.”
Hundreds of protesters forced their way into the U.S. Congressional precinct on January 6, 2021, as representatives and senators were conducting the certification of the winner of the election.
According to the New York Post the FBI prosecuted some 440 people allegedly for participating in the riots. 125 of them were formally charged with assaulting or interfering with police.
However, conservative critics point out that the speed, efficiency, and momentum with which the FBI proceeded to prosecute Trump supporters contrasts sharply with the slowness and inefficiency with which the FBI dealt with the trumped-up false charges against former President Donald Trump where it also violated legal procedures to frame an impeachment trial based on a false rumor.
Tense relationship between Putin and Biden
Biden and Putin will meet on June 16, after Biden stops in England for the annual G7 summit and in Belgium for a NATO conference.
According to press secretary Jen Psaki, they “will discuss the full range of pressing issues, as we seek to restore predictability and stability to the U.S.-Russia relationship.”
However, on repeated occasions, Joe Biden has publicly boasted how much he despises Vladimir Putin.
In an interview with ABC News, Biden said he looked Putin in the eye and told him, “I don’t think you have a soul,” in addition to referring to the former KGB man as a killer.
The Biden administration, particularly congressional Democrats, repeatedly accused Russia of ‘interfering with the election’ in addition to claiming that the hackers who broke into the Colonial pipeline system, which left the East Coast without fuel for a few days, reside in Russia.