Speed Reads

Biden-Putin summit

U.S. reporter tells Putin his opponents end up 'dead, imprisoned, or jailed,' asks 'what are you so afraid of?'

Russian President Vladimir Putin faced several questions about the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny during Putin's summit with President Biden in Geneva on Wednesday — unsurprisingly, he didn't exactly own up to any wrongdoing.

U.S. officials, including Biden, have repeatedly condemned Russia's persecution of Navalny, especially after the U.S. concluded earlier this year that the Kremlin was behind Navalny's poisoning. At Putin's closely-watched meeting with Biden, reporters pressed him on Russia's treatment of the opposition leader. 

Putin blamed Navalny for failing to properly register with authorities when he went to Germany after being poisoned with a nerve agent. "This man knew that he was breaking the law," said Putin when asked about Navalny's imprisonment. "He wanted, consciously, to break the law" by going abroad for treatment, Putin asserted. 

The Russian president then pivoted to criticize the U.S. justice system. ABC News' Rachel Scott asked "the list of your political opponents who are dead, imprisoned, or jailed is long ... what are you so afraid of?," and Putin answered by invoking the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. He noted that some rioters were arrested after attacking the Capitol, saying "many people are facing the same things that we do."

Biden will hold a separate press conference to discuss his meeting with his Russian counterpart.