Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny “wanted to be arrested” and returned to Russia in the full knowledge that he had repeatedly broken Russian law.
Asked about Navalny during a press conference after his meeting with President Joe Biden, Putin – without naming the jailed dissident – said: “This person knew full well that he violated the law that existed in Russia. He is a person that is a repeat offender. He deliberately violated this law.”
“He ignored the requirement of the law. He knew he was wanted. Nonetheless, he came back to Russia. He wanted to be arrested,” Putin said.
Putin said talks with President Joe Biden were constructive and that there was “no hostility” between the two leaders.
“It took place in a constructive spirit,” he told journalists, “but both sides expressed the intention to understand each other and to seek common ground.”
Putin was meeting President Joe Biden for the first time in Geneva, Switzerland.
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