Joe Biden on Saturday took a jab at Russian leader Vladimir Putin, saying comedian Trevor Noah would not be imprisoned for making fun of the President of the United States.
In his introduction for Mr Noah at the annual White House Correspondent's Association dinner, Mr Biden said, “Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to turn this over to Trevor now, strap myself into my seat,” adding, “And, Trevor, the really good news is: Now you get to roast the President of the United States and, unlike in Moscow, you won't go to jail.”
It is to mention that Mr Biden was referring to jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, one of Mr Putin's most-high profile critics. It is believed that the Kremlin, back in 2020, had tried to poison the outspoken Russian opposition figure with the Novichok nerve agent. At that time, Mr Navalny fell ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow after having been poisoned.
He was then flown to Germany for emergency medical treatment. As he recovered, he said that he intended to return to his homeland. However, after returning to Russia, Mr Navalny was arrested and detained. He has been accused of fraud and embezzlement and sentenced to 9 years in a maximum-security prison. But he continues to speak out against Mr Putin through his lawyers and allies.
Moscow, on the other hand, has denied any involvement in poisoning the opposition leader, despite reports of Novichok by both German investigators and the inter-governmental Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In fact, according to DW, the Russian delegation to the OCPW has accused Germany and its allies of unleashing a “mass disinformation campaign against Russia”.
Moreover, the Kremlin deflected condemnations from over 50 nations, including the United States, suggesting that instead Mr Navalny was poisoned with the Soviet-developed nerve agent after arriving in Germany.