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President Joe Biden and President of Russia Vladimir Putin held their first in-person summit under the new administration, and the affair was brief by most accounts. In a post-summit press conference, Putin appeared rattled by the questions of a Black reporter, making a connection to the Black Lives Matter group while addressing his disdain for extremist groups.
As reported by Deadline, ABC News reporter Rachel Scott delivered a question towards Putin and made mention of the Russian opposition and anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny, who has been a thorn in the side of Putin and other Russian authorities.
“President Biden has said he will respond if cyberattacks from Russia do not stop. I’m curious, what did he tell you? Did he make any threats? And a quick follow-up if I may, sir: The list of your political opponents who are dead, imprisoned, or jailed is long,” Scott asked. “Alexei Navalny’s organization calls for free and fair elections, an end to corruption, but Russia has outlawed that organization, calling it extremist. And you now have prevented anyone who supports him to run for office. For my question for you Mr. President: What are you so afraid of?”
After conferring with his translator, Putin fired back with, “America, quite recently, had to deal with terrible events after the murder of, the killing of the African American, and Black Lives Matter ensued. I don’t want to make any judgment about that but what we saw, mass violations of the law, and so on so forth. We sympathize with the Americans but we do not wish that this kind of thing could happen on our territory and we will do our utmost to prevent tension.”
Putin’s reputation as a stern and forceful leader has been well documented over the years, and the relationship between the superpowers, while not as icy as during the Cold War period, certainly needs mending.
Check out the moment as it happened below.