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Jailed Kremlin Critic Kara-Murza's Wife Urges Prisoner Swaps

Evgenia Kara-Murza and her son Daniil after a press conference in Geneva. Salvatore Di Nolfi / EPA / TASS

The wife of jailed and ailing Kremlin critic Vladimir Kara-Murza said on Monday she was in favor of prisoner exchanges to rescue him and other political prisoners in Russia.

Following the death of Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny at an Arctic penal colony last month, his team claimed that a deal to free him as part of a prisoner swap had been "at the final stage" before he died.

Asked whether similar discussions were underway for her husband, Evgenia Kara-Murza told reporters in Geneva that she was "not aware of any active negotiations."

"But I know that this was a method of liberating some dissidents in the Soviet times, and I believe that if that was possible in the Soviet times during the Cold War... it is definitely possible today," she said.

Speaking at an event organized by the United Nations correspondents' association ACANU, she acknowledged that due to limited communication with her husband, she did not know if he would agree to leave if the opportunity presented itself.

"But I believe that in those cases where human lives are at stake, and there is a number of such cases in Russia today... I believe that every method should be used to save these people's lives," she said.

Navalny's death has raised fears for remaining Kremlin critics imprisoned in Russia, including Kara-Murza.

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