White Home warns Russia will face penalties if Alexei Navalny dies

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny makes a coronary heart gesture throughout a listening to into an software by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service to transform his suspended sentence of three and a half years within the Yves Rocher case into an actual jail time period.

Moscow Metropolis Courtroom Press Workplace | TASS | Getty Photographs

WASHINGTON – White Home Nationwide Safety Advisor Jake Sullivan mentioned Sunday that the Biden administration warned the Russian authorities to not let jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny die in custody.

“We’ve communicated to the Russian authorities that what occurs to Mr. Navalny of their custody is their accountability and they are going to be held accountable by the worldwide group,” Sullivan mentioned on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

“We’ve communicated that there might be penalties if Mr. Navalny dies,” he added.

Navalny flew to Russia from Berlin earlier this yr after spending almost half a yr recovering for a nerve agent poisoning that happened final August. He was arrested at passport management and later sentenced to greater than two years in jail.

Final month, the US sanctioned seven members of the Russian authorities for the alleged poisoning and subsequent detention of Navalny. The sanctions have been the primary to focus on Moscow underneath Biden’s management. The Trump administration didn’t take motion in opposition to Russia over the Navalny scenario.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a separate assertion that the sanctions would “ship a transparent sign” to Russia that the usage of chemical weapons and human rights abuses carry hefty penalties.

“Any use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and contravenes worldwide norms,” Blinken wrote.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied having a job in Navalny’s poisoning.

A spokesman for Navalny mentioned that the Russian opposition chief’s well being has deteriorated since his imprisonment. Navalny started a starvation strike to be able to drive his jailers to supply entry to exterior medical look after ache in his again and legs. A lawyer for Navalny mentioned he’s affected by two spinal hernias, AP reported.

Learn extra: U.S. disturbed over imprisoned Kremlin critic Navalny’s deteriorating well being

Russian authorities have beforehand mentioned that they’ve supplied Navalny correct medical care however that he continues to refuse it. The jail has declined to permit a health care provider of Navalny’s alternative from exterior of the ability to manage his remedy.

In an interview with the BBC on Sunday, the Russian ambassador to the U.Ok. accused Navanly of dramatizing his situation to be able to appeal to consideration.

“After all he is not going to be allowed to die in jail, however I can say that Mr. Navalny, he behaves like a hooligan, completely,” Andrei Kelin mentioned. “His objective for all of that’s to draw consideration for him, additionally by saying that right this moment his left hand is sick and tomorrow his leg is sick and all of that stuff so the journalists listen.”

“Navalny has been handled within the hospital which lies not so removed from the place the place he’s serving his sentence and as I perceive, he doesn’t complain anymore,” Kelin added.

Final week, the Biden administration slapped Russia with a slew of U.S. sanctions for human rights abuses, sweeping cyberattacks and makes an attempt to affect U.S. elections.

In an tackle Thursday, Biden mentioned he was ready to take additional actions in opposition to Moscow.

“If Russia continues to intervene with our democracy, I am ready to take additional actions to reply. It’s my accountability as president of the US to take action,” Biden mentioned from the White Home.

“I used to be clear with President Putin that we might have gone additional, however I selected not to take action, I selected to be proportionate,” Biden mentioned of the measures, including that he didn’t need to “kick off a cycle of escalation and battle with Russia.”

Learn extra: The West waits for Putin’s subsequent transfer as Russia-Ukraine tensions rise

Biden additionally mentioned that he proposed in a cellphone name with Putin that the 2 meet in particular person this summer season in Europe to debate a spread of urgent points.

Sullivan advised CNN that the Biden-Putin summit was one thing that was being mentioned however wouldn’t present any further particulars.

“There is not presently a summit on the books, it is one thing that we’re speaking about. That summit must happen after all in the best circumstances in a method that might really transfer the connection ahead,’ Sullivan mentioned.

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