Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny should immediately be granted access to proper medical care while imprisoned at a penal colony outside Moscow, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said Sunday amid reports that his health had sharply deteriorated.
It comes after Yaroslav Ashikhmin, a doctor acting on behalf of Navalny's family, said test results received from the Russian penal colony where the activist is being held show unsafe levels of potassium in his blood along with signs of kidney failure.
His supporters say Navalny was abused by prison officials.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki called for his release and that he "must be treated humanely", adding that U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan discussed Navalny with Nikolai Patrushev, head of the Russian Security Council. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said police will treat any unauthorized protests as illegal.
Putin foe Navalny sent to prison hospital amid hunger strike
France's foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian warned Sunday those sanctions could be expanded, saying Russian Federation must be held "responsible" for the dissident's health.
The team of jailed Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny called for massive protests across Russian Federation next week to help save the life of the hunger-striking opposition leader, who doctors warn could die in a matter of days. "The state of health of those convicted and jailed on Russian territory can not and should not be a theme of their interest", spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Fears over Mr. Navalny's fate have added more fuel to soaring tensions between Moscow and the West over a build-up of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine and a spiralling diplomatic row with European Union member state the Czech Republic.
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. The penitentiary service has said Navalny was getting all the medical help he needs.More news: George Floyd death: Congresswoman denies inciting violence
On Sunday, Navalny's team said a nationwide protest was planned for Wednesday to highlight his plight.
European leaders, including European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, are assessing the bloc's strategy toward Russian Federation amid the weakening health of imprisoned opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
For now, several Navalny allies have dismissed as insufficient the move to move him to the prison hospital.
Navalny's top strategist, Leonid Volkov, said no one should assume it was happening until the opposition leader's lawyers confirm it.More news: Alex Ferguson has given his reaction to the new European Super League
Russian Federation in 2020 saw record high average temperatures and a historic decline in summer ice cover on its Arctic maritime route, monitors said last month.
She again called for the prison to let her and other physicians see Navalny.
Last month, the politician was transferred to a penal colony east of Moscow, notorious for its harsh conditions.More news: Navalny's Doctor: Putin Critic 'Could Die at Any Moment'