Saturday, 31 July, 2021


Doctors denied access to Navalny prison hospital

Alexei Navalny has been in prison since January Alexei Navalny has been in prison since January Credit VASILY MAXIMOV /AFP
Kristine Garrett | 20 April, 2021, 16:38

Russia's prison service, which has repeatedly prevented Navalny's doctors from visiting him, said on Monday that he had been moved from his penal colony in the Vladimir region some 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of Moscow to a medical facility at another colony in the same region.

Navalny went on hunger strike on March 31 to protest against what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to provide him with treatment for leg and back pain.

But the authorities insisted the anti-corruption campaigner's condition was "satisfactory", and said he was taking vitamin supplements as part of medical treatment. And Biden has said he is open to a one-on-one summit with the Russian leader.

"In terms of the specific measures we would undertake, we are looking at a variety of different costs that we would impose, and I'm not going to telegraph that publicly at this point", Sullivan told CNN.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the bloc held the Russian authorities "responsible for the health situation of Mr. Navalny", as foreign ministers from its 27 nations held virtual talks.

"At tomorrow's Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, EU foreign ministers will also address Navalny's situation", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told Bild newspaper on Sunday. A lawyer, permitted a short visit on Monday, reported Mr. Navalny has still not received proper medical attention and is continuing the hunger strike.

Mr Navalny's allies and family - including his mother, wife and teenage daughter - took to social media over the weekend to plead the Kremlin to let a civilian doctor examine him.

"The health of convicts in the Russia Federation can not and should not be a topic concerning them", said Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

The EU in October sanctioned six Russian officials over the assassination attempt, Borrell noted, and in February sanctioned another four individuals over Navalny's arrest and sentencing.

The rising tensions between the former Soviet republics come against the background of a war of words between Moscow and Washington as US President Joe Biden seeks a tougher line against Putin.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Sunday that those sanctions could be expanded.

Mr. Navalny's supporters have called for a major protest across Russian Federation on Wednesday to demand his release, hours after a state-of-the-nation address by Mr. Putin.

Faced with the largest deployment of Russian troops on Ukraine's borders since 2014, President Volodymyr Zelensky has requested more help from the West.

Russia has additionally provoked much consternation in the U.S. and other Western countries with a military buildup on the border to eastern Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have been fighting government forces since 2014.

Washington and Moscow have recently expelled 10 of each other's diplomats in tit-for-tat moves. Two people were found dead at the depot after the initial blast.

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