U.S. warns Russia of consequences if jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies

By Darryl Coote*

April 18 (UPI) — Amid reports jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny was close to death, the United States warned Russia on Sunday there will be consequences if he dies.

Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s highest-profile critic, was arrested in January and sentence to 2 1/2 years in prison on charges of violating terms of an earlier suspended sentence.

The 44-year-old politician was arrested on returning to Russia from a five-month stay in Germany where he received medical attention for nerve agent poisoning, an assassination attempt the United States, the European Union and other Western democracies have sanctioned Russia over though the Kremlin denies any involvement.

Navalny’s health has been deteriorating since early this month as he has been on a hunger strike in demand of outside medical attention.

On Saturday, his doctor, Yaroslav Ashikhmin, said in a Facebook post that “our patient can die at any moment.”

“A patient with this level of potassium should be observed in intensive care, as tala arrhythmia can develop at any moment,” Ashikhmin wrote.

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