Daily US Times: President Joe Biden said he warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Wednesday of consequences if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, a vocal critic of Mr Putin, were to die in prison, though he declined to specify which actions he would take.
Biden said: “I made it clear to him that I believe the consequences of that would be devastating for Russia.”
“What do you think happens when he’s saying it’s not about hurting Navalny, all the stuff he says to rationalize the treatment of Navalny, and then he dies in prison?… It’s about trust. It’s about their ability to influence other nations in a positive way,” the US president continued.
The United States believes Navalny was poisoned by the Russian security services last year when he felt ill during a flight to Moscow and fell into a coma. Navalny was evacuated to Germany after being hospitalized.
That evacuation later led the Russia Federal Penitentiary Service to accuse Alexei Navalny of violating the terms of his probation by failing to show up for scheduled inspections while in getting medical care in Berlin.
In February, following his return to Russia, Navalny was sentenced to prison, where he remains.
Navalny went on a hunger strike this past spring to protest against prison officials’ refusal to grant him access to proper medical care.
During his time in prison, the supporters of the Russian opposition leader have said the opposition leader’s health deteriorated and his legal team has said his condition was exacerbated by alleged “torture by sleep deprivation.”