Wednesday, 12 May, 2021

Alexei Navalny sent to prison hospital in Russian Federation

Russia to expel 10 US diplomats in 'tit-for-tat response' to Biden sanctions EU foreign ministers to meet on Navalny health as tensions with Russia soar
Ginger Lawrence | 20 April, 2021, 14:51

Navalny's lawyer Alexei Liptser said after visiting him in the hospital of penal colony No. 3 in the city of Vladimir, east of Moscow, that his health was deteriorating and he had again been denied access to his own doctors.

Russia's prison authorities, which have barred Mr. Navalny's own medical team from visiting him, said its doctors had chose to move him to a medical facility on the premises of another penal colony outside Moscow.

But it insisted that the anti-corruption campaigner's condition was "satisfactory", and said he was taking vitamin supplements as part of medical treatment.

Authorities have ramped up pressure on Navalny's supporters in recent months, detaining more than 10,000 protesters at opposition demonstrations in January and February.

Concerns over Navalny's health have mounted against the background of a spike in tensions between Moscow and the West over a litany of issues, including Russia's troop build-up on Ukraine's border, interference in U.S. elections and other perceived hostile activities.

"We are talking now only about health and life".

"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.

"Getting along with [Russian] President [Vladimir] Putin is a great thing, we should be doing business with Russia, we should be getting along with Russia, instead of forcing Russia to go into the hands of China", Trump said in an interview with Fox News. A lawyer, permitted a short visit on Monday, reported Mr. Navalny has still not received proper medical attention and is continuing the hunger strike.

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

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Navalny, President Vladimir Putin's fiercest opponent, was arrested in January upon his return from Germany, where he had spent five months recovering from a nerve agent poisoning he blames on the Kremlin - accusations Russian officials have rejected.

On March 31, he began a hunger strike to protest what he says is the prison's refusal to treat him for leg and back pain, which he believes could be linked to his poisoning.

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 Putin.

Police warned people not to demonstrate, saying officers would take "all necessary measures to maintain law and order".

European Union leaders have also scrambled in the past week to respond to a major military buildup by Russian forces along its border with Ukraine.

Moscow has largely shrugged off worldwide pressure since becoming a pariah to the West in 2014 when it seized Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and backed an insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

"It is the highest Russian military deployment at Ukrainian borders ever", Borrell said.

Kiev has been battling Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine since 2014 and clashes intensified early this year, effectively shredding a ceasefire agreed last July.

"Key element: preparing a new set of sectoral sanctions".