Ambassador Sullivan on the Detention of Aleksey Navalny

January 18, 2021

The detention of oppositionist Aleksey Navalny immediately upon his return to Russia on January 17 appears to be deeply politicized. The international community will be observing Mr. Navalny’s treatment closely. The Russian government is responsible for ensuring Mr. Navalny’s health and safety.

The United States notes with grave concern that Mr. Navalny’s detention is the latest in a series of what appears to be attacks targeting opposition figures and independent voices critical of Russian authorities in an intensifying effort to silence civil society. Confident political leaders do not fear independent voices, nor do they see the need to misuse legal authorities to commit violence against or wrongfully detain political opponents.

The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve a government that supports an open exchange of ideas, transparent and accountable governance, fair and equal treatment under the law, and the ability to exercise their rights without fear of retribution.