WASHINGTON D.C.: Russia should expect a strong response from the United States if imprisoned political leader Alexei Navalny dies during a prison hunger strike, White House National security adviser Jake Sullivan said on April 19.
"We have communicated (to Russia) that there will be consequences if Mr. Navalny dies," Sullivan said on CNN on Sunday.
Sullivan did not name any specific actions the United States would take if Navlany dies.
Sullivan's warning was issued as supporters of Navalny warned that the Kremlin critic's health is deteriorating.
The imprisoned Navalny has been on a hunger strike since March 31.
Sullivan noted that the administration is dealing with the issue "privately" while still in communication "through diplomatic channels direct to the uppermost levels of the Russian government."
"People usually avoid the word 'dying'. But now Alexey is dying. In his condition, it is a matter of days," Russian opposition press secretary Kira Yarmysh tweeted Saturday.
"Our patient could die at any moment," Yaroslav Ashikhmin, a physician who supports Navalny, warned in a Facebook post, after making public medical test results given to him by Navalny's family.
Navalny supporters have said they would stage large rallies throughout Russia next week in solidarity with Navalny.
"Things are developing too quickly and too badly," a pro-Navalny group wrote in a statement on Navalny's website. "We can no longer wait and postpone. An extreme situation demands extreme decisions."
In 2020, Navalny was poisoned by a Russian nerve agent. He recovered in a German hospital.
After returning to Russia, Navalny was arrested and sentenced to prison.
"It's totally, totally unfair, totally inappropriate, and on the basis of having been poisoned and then on a hunger strike it's wrong," U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters Saturday.
Navalny earlier gained international notice for investigations into the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.