Russia will face consequences if Putin critic Alexei Navalny dies in prison, White House warns

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Russia will face consequences if Putin critic Alexei Navalny dies in prison, White House warns

PUBLISHED SUN, APR 18 20213:07 PM EDTUPDATED SUN, APR 18 20216:53 PM EDTAmanda Macias@AMANDA_M_MACIASSHAREShare Article via FacebookShare Article via TwitterShare Article via LinkedInShare Article via EmailKEY POINTS

  • White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the Biden administration warned the Russian government to not let jailed Putin critic Alexey Navalny die in custody.
  • “We have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies,” Sullivan said.
  • Russian authorities have previously said that they have offered Navalny proper medical care but that he continues to refuse it.
  • The prison has declined to allow a doctor of Navalny’s choice from outside of the facility to administer his treatment.
Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny makes a heart gesture during a hearing into an application by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service to convert his suspended sentence of three and a half years in the Yves Rocher case into a real jail term.

Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny makes a heart gesture during a hearing into an application by the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service to convert his suspended sentence of three and a half years in the Yves Rocher case into a real jail term.Moscow City Court Press Office | TASS | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday that the Biden administration warned the Russian government to not let jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny die in custody.

“We have communicated to the Russian government that what happens to Mr. Navalny in their custody is their responsibility and they will be held accountable by the international community,” Sullivan said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program.

“We have communicated that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies,” he added.

Navalny flew to Russia from Berlin earlier this year after spending nearly half a year recovering for a nerve agent poisoning that took place last August. He was arrested at passport control and later sentenced to more than two years in prison.

Last month, the United States sanctioned seven members of the Russian government for the alleged poisoning and subsequent detention of Navalny. The sanctions were the first to target Moscow under Biden’s leadership. The Trump administration did not take action against Russia over the Navalny situation.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken wrote in a separate statement that the sanctions would “send a clear signal” to Russia that the use of chemical weapons and human rights abuses carry hefty consequences.

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

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

A spokesman for Navalny said that the Russian opposition leader’s health has deteriorated since his imprisonment. Navalny began a hunger strike in order to force his jailers to provide access to outside medical care for pain in his back and legs. A lawyer for Navalny said he is suffering from two spinal hernias, AP reported.

Read more: U.S. disturbed over imprisoned Kremlin critic Navalny’s deteriorating health

Russian authorities have previously said that they have offered Navalny proper medical care but that he 

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