Moscow (AP) – The US government has threatened Russia with consequences if imprisoned Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny dies in prison.
“We have informed the Russian government that what happens to Mr Navalny in their custody is their responsibility,” US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN. After about two and a half weeks on a hunger strike, concerns about the health of the opposition are mounting. Doctors around him warned that the 44-year-old’s heart could stop.
Nawalny’s team is demanding that independent medical professionals can examine him – so far without success. The doctor of the foremost Russian opposition politician therefore wrote again to the prison authorities: “We doctors are ready to take action. The question remains whether the prison camp is ready to work together to save Nawalny’s life. “
His spokeswoman Kira Jarmysch wrote in terrifying words: “Alexei dies.” Death is only a matter of days. The information could not be independently verified. Washington therefore warns Moscow: “There will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies.” Sullivan said he did not want to speak publicly about possible specific measures against Russia in such a case.
The French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian did not rule out consequences either. Measures have already been taken, he said to broadcaster France 3. The sanction package is already substantial, but there may be more.
EU foreign ministers want to talk at their conference on Monday about developments in the case, as the EU announced, which also called for medical access to Navalny.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas appealed to Moscow: “We urgently demand that Alexei Navalny receive adequate medical treatment and access to doctors he trusts.” His right to medical care should be granted “immediately,” said Bild’s SPD politician.
More than 70 celebrities wrote an open letter to Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin with this request. “As a Russian citizen, he has the right to be examined and treated by a doctor of his choice,” said the appeal, which was printed in several European newspapers on Saturday. Signatories include Harry Potter author JK Rowling, Nobel laureates such as Herta Müller and Louise Glück, Abba founder Björn Ulvaeus, and actor Benedict Cumberbatch.
Navalny has been on hunger strike since March 31. He is threatened with force-feeding. Putin’s opponent, who barely survived a poison attack last year, recently complained of back pain, limb paralysis, fever and cough.
Wassiljewa and three colleagues also discussed critical potassium levels, which can lead to kidney failure and serious cardiac arrhythmias. “We are very concerned about his condition,” said letter to head of the penal system, Alexander Kalashnikov. “We urgently ask for negotiations.”
At a height of 1.90 meters, he weighed 76 kilos a few days ago, according to his wife. He would have lost a kilo a day. Navalny is under difficult circumstances in a camp about 100 kilometers from Moscow. His team called for new protests next Wednesday evening. On that day, President Putin also wants to make his speech to the nation.
Nawalny’s spokeswoman wrote that lawyers were unable to contact them on weekends. “Nobody knows what’s going to happen Monday.” Green MEP Sergey Lagodinsky told the editorial board that Germany, Germany and the EU must enforce treatment of the EU’s opposition in the Kremlin – similar to the attack on him last summer.
Cardiologist Alexei Erlich told radio station Echo Moskvy: “I don’t know whether Navalny’s fate will be determined by the penitentiary system, by the presidential administration or by Putin himself. But now, today, we need a fundamental decision that will enable independent doctors to meet Navalny. “The medic is part of the opposition party’s team of personal doctors.
Navalny had survived an assassination attempt with the neurotoxin Novitschok in August and had been treated in Germany. He complains that the use of the banned chemical warfare agent is not being investigated in his home country. Several laboratories in the EU had discovered the poison. He himself blames a “killer squad” of the FSB domestic intelligence agency for the attack, which is reportedly under Putin’s command. The head of the Kremlin and the FSB rejected the allegations.