Sunday April 18, 2021
In the case of Navalny’s death
USA threatens Moscow with “consequences”
The dispute over Russia’s handling of Kremlin critic Alexej Navalny continues to escalate. After doctors warned of cardiac arrest in the 44-year-old on hunger strike, the United States is now sending clear words to Moscow. The federal government is also getting involved.
The imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been on hunger strike since the end of March. According to his doctors, his condition is now critical. This has now also called the USA to the scene.
This is what Jake Sullivan, national security advisor to US President Joe Biden, said on CNN. In the event of Nawalny’s death, various measures are conceivable to respond to, he said without wanting to go into details. “But we made it clear that there will be consequences if Navalny dies,” said Sullivan. Biden had already expressed concern about the reports about Navalny on Saturday and criticized the conditions for the 44-year-old.
Federal government in “great concern”
Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also spoke up. He called on Russia to provide Navalny with “adequate medical treatment” immediately. “We are very concerned that Alexej Navalny’s health continues to deteriorate,” Maas told the newspaper “Bild”. Navalny’s right to medical care must “be granted immediately”.
This request was already forwarded to the Russian ambassador on Friday, reports the newspaper, citing the Foreign Office. Maas announced that the Council of EU Foreign Ministers, which will meet in Brussels on Monday, will also deal with Navalny’s situation.
Call for protests
Supporters of the Kremlin critic meanwhile called for new mass protests on Wednesday evening. “It is time to act,” writes Navalny confidante Leonid Volkov on Facebook. It is no longer just about the freedom of the opposition, but “about his life”.
The demonstrations are to take place on Wednesday at 6 p.m. German time. On that day, President Vladimir Putin plans to deliver a State of the Union address. Volkov declares that there could be a decisive battle against “absolute evil”. It may be one of the last opposition demonstrations in the coming years. “Do not think that it does not matter to us,” the call goes on to say. More than 11,000 people were arrested in nationwide solidarity demonstrations for Navalny in January and February.
Dasha Navalny, the opposition’s daughter, also turned to the public on social networks. “My father must be allowed a doctor,” she writes on Twitter.
“Every minute” counts
Navalny’s doctors recently warned the Kremlin critic of the possibility of cardiac arrest. Because of worrying potassium levels, the 44-year-old was threatened with impaired kidney function and serious heart rhythm problems “every minute,” they said. Navalny’s personal doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva and three of her colleagues, including a heart specialist, therefore demanded immediate access to the detainee.
Navalny had already survived an attack on him with the nerve agent Novichok last August. He was flown to Germany and treated at the Berlin Charité. Navalny blames the Kremlin and Putin personally for the attack. Russia’s government and president reject the allegations.
In January Navalny returned to Russia. Immediately afterwards, he was arrested and sentenced to a prison camp.
With his hunger strike, Navalny wants to ensure that he is given adequate medical care in principle. Most recently he complained of severe back pain and numbness in his arms and legs. The prison authorities claim that Navalny was offered adequate treatment. However, he did not make use of this, but instead insisted on being treated by an external doctor of his choice.