Press Release
For Immediate Release: 
February 2, 2021
Contact Info: 
Katie Grant Drew 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on the sentencing of Russian pro-democracy activist Alexei Navalny:

"Alexei Navalny demonstrated real bravery when he chose to return to his native country and defy Vladimir Putin and his repressive, oligarchic regime.  His sentencing to two-and-a-half years in prison on trumped-up, spurious, and politically motivated charges will not bring an end to the Russian people's desire for freedom, economic opportunity, and an end to the Putin regime's rampant corruption.  The protests that have taken place across the Russian Federation in recent days highlight the deep frustrations of the Russian people, who are tired of Putin's lies, his brutal suppression of individual freedom, and his kleptocracy that has ransacked their economy.  I call on the Russian government to release Mr. Navalny immediately and to allow opposition parties and movements to engage freely in a political process to include free and fair election for the Duma later this year and for the presidency in 2024.

"It is no secret that Putin and his associates have seized on the January 6 attack on our Capitol and are using it in an attempt to justify their own brutal crackdown on legitimate protest.  Sadly, the same falsehoods and conspiracy theories with which former President Trump and his allies instigated the January 6 insurrection are being used by regimes in Russia, Myanmar, and elsewhere to suppress democracy.  America, however, must and will continue to stand in democracy's defense abroad.  Today, Americans stand in solidarity with the people of Russia who seek a better future through freedom, democracy, and equal opportunity."