U.S. warns Russian Federation of consequences if Navalny dies in prison

Alexei Navalny

On Friday, Russian prosecutors asked a court to label Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation and the network of his regional offices as "extremist" organizations, in a move that would outlaw them in Russia and could result in jail time for their members or even supporters.

Meanwhile, Maas' French counterpart, Jean-Yves Le Drian said his country is "extremely concerned" over Navalny's health.

Navalny, 44, was imprisoned in February and is serving two-and-a-half years on old embezzlement charges.

European Union foreign ministers are expected to discuss Mr Navalny's case on Monday and Josep Borrell, the bloc's top diplomat, pledged to hold Russian Federation to account over the matter too.

Mr Navalny began refusing food on 31 March in protest at what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to provide him with adequate medical care for acute back and leg pain. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the relations with the European Union were at a low point even before the new sanctions were introduced.

Blood tests show indicate Alexei Navalny is likely to die in the next few days unless he receives medical attention, doctors said Saturday.

"Russian authorities are responsible for Aleksey Navalny's well-being, and we call on them to allow him access to necessary medical care immediately in response to disturbing reports his health is deteriorating", the department's spokesperson Ned Price wrote on Twitter.

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"In terms of the specific measures that we would undertake, we are looking at a variety of different costs that we would impose and I am not going to telegraph that publicly at this point, but we have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr Navalny dies", he added. The group included actors, writers, and celebrities such as J.K. Rowling, Benedict Cumberbatch and Jude Law. "As a Russian citizen, he has the lawful right to be examined and treated by a doctor of his choice", the letter said.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan attempted to claim the Biden administration is taking a hard stance on Russian Federation over the imprisonment and mistreatment of Alexei Navalny.

Navalny has repeatedly requested access to medical staff, but has been refused by prison authorities, prompting him to start a hunger strike three weeks ago.

In an interview with the BBC, however, Russia's ambassador to Britain accused him of attention-seeking.

United States national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Sunday that Biden is weighing up a range of responses if Navalny dies, and that Moscow is aware of the threat.

Navalny's team had earlier announced plans to stage what they said would be "modern Russia's biggest protest". "His goal for all of that is to attract attention".

"There are circumstances under which you have to act quickly, otherwise there will be irreparable damage", the call for protest read. But on Sunday, Navalny's team said they could no longer wait given how critical the situation was.

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