Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday (January 27) that the United States is “deeply concerned” about detained Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny and was considering actions in response to his detention in Russia.
Blinken said at his first press briefing after being sworn in that the Biden administration was reviewing how to respond to actions by Russia, including the alleged use of chemical weapons in an attack on Navalny, the Solar Winds cyber attack, reports of bounties on American forces and interference in U.S. elections.
“We have a deep concern for Mr. Navalny’s safety and security and the larger point is that his voice is the voice of many, many, many Russians and it should be heard, not muzzled,” said Blinken, adding that he was not ruling out any specific actions the United States might take in response.
Blinken also said it is in the interest of the United States to cooperate with China on issues such as climate change, though that fit within the larger context of areas of concern that Washington has with China.
Blinken added that his judgment that China had committed genocide against Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region had not changed.
Blinken also said that the State Department was taking a “very urgent and very close look” at the Trump administration designation of Yemen’s Houthi movement as a terrorist organization.
“It’s vitally important even in the midst of this crisis that we do everything we can to get humanitarian assistance to the people of Yemen, who are in desperate need,” Blinken told reporters on his first full day in office, adding he waned to make sure that both U.S. and foreign aid groups can deliver assistance to Yemen.
(Production: Arlene Eiras)