Press Release ● Foreign Affairs
For Immediate Release: 
August 20, 2020
Contact Info: 
Annaliese Davis 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the attack against Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny:

"In recent years, Alexey Navalny has been jailed, harassed, poisoned, and dyed green - all in an effort to silence him and the millions of Russians who, alongside him, yearn for freedom and democracy in their country and an end to Vladimir Putin's autocratic kleptocracy.  I have no doubt that, if it turns out he was poisoned again today, the Russian people will know exactly who is responsible. 
"I served as the Chair of the Helsinki Commission at the end of the Cold War, and I saw firsthand how Russians looked with optimism to a future free from the tyranny, totalitarianism, and terror they experienced under Soviet rule - and I understand why so many of them are risking their lives today to protest Vladimir Putin's rule.  This blatant and shameful attack on the Russian opposition movement must not go unanswered, particularly as people in neighboring Belarus strive to reject Putin-style autocracy in their own country and seek the free and fair elections they deserve.  Sadly, I fear that President Trump's deference to Putin and coddling of Russia has only emboldened the suppression of dissent and democratic yearning in both those countries. 

“I will be praying for the safe recovery of Mr. Navalny and standing in solidarity with his millions of supporters.  The Russian people deserve to be free and to chart a future unburdened by the shackles of oligarchy, kleptocracy, and Putinism."