Senator Jin Shahin: Putin is afraid of Navalny
Critic of Vladimir Putin&# 160; and the US legislator&# 160; from Russian &# 171; blacklist&# 187;&# 160; – about the verdict to Alexei Navalny and its consequences&# 160;
The wave of criticism in the United States regarding the actions of the Russian authorities, who sentenced opposition leader Alexei Navalny to a real prison term and brutally suppressed peaceful street protests in recent weeks, is growing.
American lawmakers are moving from words to actions: a bill has appeared in the Senate to impose sanctions against those involved in the poisoning and prosecution of Navalny. The same bill, which was jointly initiated by Democrats and Republicans, speaks of the need to search for Vladimir Putin’s personal assets abroad..
Democratic Senator from New Hampshire Gene Shaheen (Jeanne Shaheen), in an interview with the Russian service of the Voice of America, supported the document proposed by her colleagues.
Danila Galperovich: What was your reaction to the verdict of Alexei Navalny?
Gene Shaheen: This is an outrageous sentence that was fabricated at the behest of Vladimir Putin because he is afraid of Navalny. I think Alexei Navalny showed tremendous courage in confronting Putin and returning to Russia to continue the fight against Putin’s corruption..
D.G .: Your fellow senators from both parties have just introduced a bill to impose sanctions on those who persecuted and arrested Alexei Navalny, as well as work to identify Vladimir Putin’s personal assets. Do you think this document will be effective?
D.Sh .: I think it is important for us to voice our opposition to Putin’s actions and what is happening in Russia: violence against peaceful demonstrators. For us, this is one of the ways to act, and this document, of course, must be approved by Congress. But I think the days when Washington and the former Trump administration turned a blind eye to what Putin is doing, thus inspiring him to continue like this, are over..
D.G .: You have personally spoken out against the construction of Nord Stream 2 and called on Europe to refuse to support this project. Do you think the current administration and the US Congress will be able to influence the European allies?
D.Sh .: I think that we will continue to do this, and the second law with appropriate sanctions in this area has already been adopted. It provides an opportunity to inspire Germany and Europe as a whole to see if they want to be more dependent on energy resources coming from Russia. I don’t think Europe would like to be in that position. So I hope they try to reassess if it’s in their best interest..
D.G .: The Kremlin knew for sure that a verdict against Navalny with a real term of imprisonment would cause widespread international indignation, and it did it anyway. Why do you think?
D.Sh .: Apparently, Putin is afraid of Navalny. Look at more than 100 million views of the video that Navalny made about Putin’s palace on the Black Sea – now Russians can directly see where the money they paid as taxes goes, without receiving the benefits that their leader received from it. in power for so long. I listened to interviews with young protesters who said they were born when Putin was already in power and did not want to die when he was still in power. And I understand their displeasure when they see how much money he stole from the people of Russia. So he’s probably looking at those over 100 million views and thinking about the impact that number has on Russians, as well as his ability to stay in power..
D.G .: I remember the moment in 2017, when the Russian authorities put you on the “black list” and denied you an entry visa after your clear position on the need to impose sanctions against the Kremlin for meddling in elections. At the same time, Moscow constantly declares that it is the United States that is unconstructive and not ready to talk. Do you think Russia is striving for a truly constructive relationship with America??
D.Sh .: I think it depends a lot on what it is about. For example, I believe that the extension of the START Treaty is positive for both the United States and Russia. So there may be areas like this where some kind of collaboration is possible. But when it comes to imprisoning their own citizens, using violence against peaceful protestors, denying their citizens to respect human rights, they will hear a clear and loud voice of the world community, they will hear loud and clear statements from President Biden on this matter. … When Russia hacks into the computers of our government agencies, as they did with SolarWinds – this became known only last December, but it happened for months when they interfere in our elections, when they offer rewards for our soldiers in Afghanistan – with this type of behavior, no there can be no cooperation.
D.G .: Under President Trump, despite his controversial line on Putin, there was a two-party consensus in Congress on Russia. Now, under President Biden, will this consensus continue, will the Republicans and Democrats have a unified approach to Russian issues??
D.Sh .: Yes, I believe that the approach to Russia will remain bipartisan. I think there is a common understanding among both parties, and in Congress as a whole, that too many aggressive actions by Russia pose a threat to the West, and we cannot allow these actions to continue. We all have great concerns about this and a feeling that we must respond to this..
Reporter for the Russian Service «Voices of America» in Moscow. Collaborates with «Voice of America» since 2012. For a long time he worked as a correspondent and presenter of programs in the Russian service of the BBC and «Radio Liberty». Specialization – international relations, politics and legislation, human rights.
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