US National Adviser Jake Sullivan hinted that Russia would face “consequences” if a prominent Russian dissident, Alexei Navalny, died in prison.
In an interview with “CNN”, Sullivan said that Washington informed Moscow of its position on the fate of Navalny.
This coincided with the expression of those close to Navalny about his health in prison, saying that he was being killed in front of the whole world.
Earlier on Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that international powers should set clear red lines against Russia, and consider imposing sanctions on Moscow if it crosses those lines.
Navalny, one of the most prominent opponents of Russian President Vladimir Putin, nearly died in August 2020, poisoned with Novichok.
Navalny accuses President Putin of giving orders to poison him, an accusation the Kremlin denies.
Navalny was arrested in January on his return to Russia after a period of convalescence in Germany. He was imprisoned in February after being found guilty of old charges of embezzlement.
On March 31, Navalny, 44, began a hunger strike in prison to demand adequate health care due to back pain and numbness in the legs and hands.
Doctors for the prominent opposition said on Saturday that his health had rapidly deteriorated, and demanded that prison officials be able to examine him immediately.
“The patient may die at any moment,” said a cardiologist, Yaroslav Ashikhemin, referring to the high level of potassium in his body, and insisted on the need to transfer him to intensive care.
In the interview with CNN, the US National Security Adviser said, “Regarding the measures that we will take, we are looking at a set of sanctions that we may impose and will not disclose them at this stage, but we announced that there will be consequences if Navalny dies.”
Sullivan said the White House informed the Kremlin that Moscow “will be held accountable by the international community” for what will happen to Navalny while he is in detention in Russia.
On Saturday, US President Joe Biden described the Navalny case as “totally unfair.”
Biden was criticized for not addressing the Navalny issue in a phone call with Putin last week, and for not talking about the opposition issue in public statements, according to observers.
But Sullivan said the White House has made its position clear to Russia directly.