Biden also posted a message onthe website formerly known as Twitter, with photographs of him with the Navalny family.

Few details have emerged about the cause of Navalny’s death (his family has been unable to recover his body), but Biden and most Russia watchers have expressed suspicion, if not near certainty, that Vladimir Putin played a direct role. after the Russian president moved the dissident last year to a remote penal colony above the Arctic Circle.

Yulia, in a video message, blamed Putin for killing her husband and promised to defend his cause, that of a free Russia.

Biden, who last week said Putin is “responsible” for the death, said in 2021 that the Russian leader would suffer “devastating” consequences if Navalny died in prison.

When asked about that comment after Navalny’s death, Biden appeared to dismiss the threat as irrelevant some three years later. He noted that Russia has already suffered significant consequences following its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 due to economic sanctions and export controls imposed by the United States and its NATO allies.

The White House, in its readout of Thursday’s meeting, also noted that Biden planned to announce additional sanctions on Friday “in response to Aleksey’s death, Russia’s repression and aggression, and its brutal and illegal war in Ukraine.”

But that package had been in the works before Navalny’s death, and was scheduled to be released to mark the second anniversary of the war this Saturday. And adding additional measures after Navalny’s death has proven difficult, according to three administration officials.

By Sam