Olena Zelenska refuses invitation to attend Biden speech not to sit next to Yulia Navalnaya

Zelensky's wife refuses to attend Biden's speech because of Navalny's widow

The wife of the President of Ukraine, Olena Zelenska, declined an invitation to attend the speech of US President Joe Biden before the Senate and House of Representatives on March 7.

It was planned that Zelenska would be seated next to US First Lady Jill Biden and the widow of Alexei Navalny (included in the list of terrorists and extremists), Yulia. Yulia Navalnaya's possible presence at the event "caused discomfort among the Ukrainians," The Washington Post said.

"The White House likely did not inform Kyiv that Navalnaya had decided against attending, though her presence wasn't the only concern for the Ukrainians," The WP wrote.

A White House spokesman, in turn, told reporters that Zelenska's decision could be due to inconsistencies with the schedule as the seating plan for guests was finalised just recently.

A source from among US officials noted that the first lady of Ukraine could have declined the invitation because the Ukrainian administration did not want to be associated with Biden too closely.

Alexei Navalny recognised Crimea as Russia in 2014

In 2014, Navalny recognised Crimea as part of Russia and expressed confidence that the peninsula would remain part of the Russian Federation. He advised Ukrainians to accept that fact.

"Crimea is now part of the Russian Federation. Let's not kid ourselves. And I also strongly advise Ukrainians not to kid themselves either. It will remain part of Russia and will never again become part of Ukraine in the foreseeable future," Alexei Navalny said in 2014.

Navalny also said that Crimea would be left as Russia even in case of his victory in the Russian presidential election.

"Crimea is not a sandwich that you could just toss back and forth," he then said.

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Author`s name Andrey Mihayloff
Editor Dmitry Sudakov