The US warns Russia of “consequences” if Alexei Navalny dies

The US warns Russia of “consequences” if Alexei Navalny dies


The United States warned Russia of the consequences on Sunday if Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny died in prison. Doctors said on Saturday that the imprisoned politician could die “any minute”. Navalny aides have called for nationwide protests to ensure Navalny’s life is not harmed. Navalny is currently on hunger strike in prison.

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The United States warned Russia of the consequences on Sunday if Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny died in prison. Doctors said on Saturday that the imprisoned politician could die “any minute”. Navalny aides have called for nationwide protests to ensure Navalny’s life is not harmed. Navalny is currently on hunger strike in prison.

US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington had warned the Kremlin that it would be “held accountable by the international community” if Navalny died. Sullivan added that the Kremlin has been told “there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies”.

Biden said on Saturday that Navalny’s plight was “totally, totally unfair, totally inadequate”.

On Sunday, France, Germany and the European Union (EU) joined the growing chorus on Navalny’s plight. The EU foreign ministers will discuss the situation on Monday.

Russia has increasingly cornered itself on many global issues. It is exposed to heat for its troop build-up near the border with Ukraine. The US has expelled Russian diplomats who accuse Russian interference in the US elections. Alexei Navalny’s condition could prove to be yet another front for Russia to meet the global political heat.

Call for nationwide protests in Russia

Navalny’s team called for massive protests across Russia on Sunday evening, just hours after Putin was due to deliver his state of the nation address.

“It is time to act. We are not only talking about Navalny’s freedom, but also about his life,” Navalny’s right-wing man Leonid Volkov said on Facebook.

Also read | Alexei Navalny’s helpers are calling for protests to save his life

Volkov said Wednesday’s rally could become a decisive battle against “absolute evil” or Russia’s last opposition rally in years to come.

“Call everyone you know and go to the central squares,” wrote Volkov, who heads Navalny regional offices, adding that the protests should be massive.

(With contributions from agencies)

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