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Putin mentioned Navalny's death for first time and made cynical statement

Putin mentioned Navalny's death for first time and made cynical statement Photo: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny (Getty Images)

Russian dictator Vladimir Putin commented for the first time on the death of opposition figure Alexei Navalny. The Russian leader referred to the politician's death as "an unfortunate incident," reports Russian media.

"As for Mr. Navalny. Yes, he passed away, it's always a sad event. We've had other cases where people in detention facilities have passed away. Haven't there been such cases in the United States? There have been, and not just once," Putin said.

The dictator also added that a few days before the opposition figure's death, there was an idea to exchange him "for some people who are in detention in Western countries."

"You can believe me or not. The person hadn't even finished their sentence, and I said, 'I agree. Only on the condition that he stays there and doesn't come back.' However, unfortunately, things turned out as they did. It happens, there's nothing one can do about it," Putin noted.

Death of Alexei Navalny

On February 16, the 47-year-old Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny fell unconscious and later died in the Polar Wolf penal colony in the Arctic, where he was serving a three-year sentence. The likely cause of death, according to media reports, was a blood clot detachment.

The wife of the politician, Yulia, accused Russian dictator Vladimir Putin of her husband's death.

In the United States, it was confirmed that Navalny died of unnatural causes, and on February 23, a comprehensive package of sanctions against Russia was introduced.

New sanctions against Russia were also imposed by Australia and Canada.

Eight EU countries called on Brussels to impose sanctions against Russia over the death of the Russian opposition figure.