Moscow had some stinging words for Washington which were also hilariously ironic on Monday, as both Putin and Biden look ahead to their in-person summit set for June 16 in Geneva. Warning of "uncomfortable" signals to come, the Kremlin indicated that high on the agenda would be a range of human rights and free speech issues in the United States, particularly the "persecution" of those behind the January 6 Capitol riot by the Biden administration.
The words appear Moscow's ultimate trolling response to Biden remarks on Sunday wherein he vowed to confront Putin on egregious human rights abuses: "Of course, we will be ready to discuss everything, including problems that exist in the United States," Lavrov told reporters Monday following Biden's statements. According to AFP:
He said Russia was monitoring the "persecution" of those behind the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.
How an American reacts to something like this is a superb Rorschach Test to measure so many important attributes: https://t.co/lQyTry3VcF— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) May 31, 2021
Lavrov then sarcastically adopted the language and tone of US officials when they frequently lecture foreign adversaries around the world from Russia to Syria to China to Venezuela to Iran, or to any country the US doesn't like. This included Lavrov talking about the US "opposition" and their "rights" while referencing the prior pro-Trump protests and unrest inundating the Capitol.
"A lot of interesting things are happening there," he said, adding that Russia wanted to discuss "protection of opposition rights" in the United States.
The Biden administration has over the past two months heavily focused scathing criticism on the Alexei Navalny saga - frequently holding up the now jailed anti-Kremlin activist (stemming from a prior parole violation and embezzlement case) as leading the "democratic opposition" to Putin's rule, despite before last August's alleged 'nerve agent poisoning' ordeal not having much name recognition at all inside Russia.
Here's what Biden had said in his speech ahead of Memorial Day:
In a speech marking the Memorial Day holiday, Biden said: "I’m meeting with President Putin in a couple weeks in Geneva, making it clear we will not stand by and let him abuse those rights."
He also said that the moment was right to show the world, and namely China, that the US was ready to lead again after four years of a largely inward-looking foreign policy under Donald Trump.
"It’s time to remind everybody who we are," he said.
So it appears Russia is ready to punch bad just as hard with its own criticisms, focusing heavily on US double standards and hypocrisy (the Snowden and Assange situations topping the list lately).
The US has also of late focused heavy criticism on Belarus' Lukeshenko and his apparently close relationship with Putin in the wake of the Ryanair incident. The Kremlin has dismissed the West's reaction (which has included expanded sanctions against Belarus) as more "fits of hysteria" - with Putin days ago telling his Belarusian counterpart directly that this is nothing but the latest "emotional outburst" coming from the West.