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World Alexei Navalny Lieutenant Warns Joe Biden Off Trusting Vladimir Putin's Word

20:15  01 may  2021
20:15  01 may  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

Doctors urge Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to end his hunger strike immediately or risk death

  Doctors urge Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny to end his hunger strike immediately or risk death Kremlin critic Navalny has been on a hunger strike since March 31, and has been denied access to doctors.On Thursday, the BBC reported that five of Navalny's doctors warned that Navalny could die if the hunger strike continues any longer. He started his hunger strike on March 31 and has persisted for 23 days.

President Vladimir Putin has not kept to international agreements before and so President Joe Biden should be wary of striking any new deal in their proposed summit, a key aide of jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has said.

Alexei Navalny with his mouth open: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a rally in July 2019. His key aide Leonid Volkov has warned that President Joe Biden should be wary of striking any new deal with Vladimir Putin in their proposed summit. © Maxim ZMEYEV/Getty Images Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny during a rally in July 2019. His key aide Leonid Volkov has warned that President Joe Biden should be wary of striking any new deal with Vladimir Putin in their proposed summit.

A Biden-Putin meeting has been touted for June but would be set against a backdrop of relations soured by tit-for-tat sanctions and the case of Kremlin scourge Nalvalny, who is serving a 2.5-year jail term in a penal colony, where he has ended a hunger strike.

Jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny says he will start to end his hunger strike

  Jailed Putin critic Alexei Navalny says he will start to end his hunger strike Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny said Friday he will start to end the hunger strike he began on March 31. Via his Instagram account, Navalny said it would take him 24 days to gradually end the strike, but said he was still demanding to see a doctor of his own choice.Navalny, one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's most vocal critics in recent years, was transferred to a prison hospital on April 19, three weeks into a hunger strike. He had been protesting against his treatment in prison, saying he had been denied urgent medical treatment.

This week, Navalny's chief of staff, Leonid Volkov, dissolved the politician's regional network to pre-empt an "extremist" tag that a Moscow court was about to label it.

When asked how he thought Biden should raise Navalny's case with Putin, Volkov warned Putin's track record in ignoring Russia's human rights and chemical weapons obligations should make the U.S. president cautious.

"What logical sense does it make to enter some new agreement or treaty...with Putin's Russia, with Putin, when we know he doesn't give a damn about actually complying with his own international obligations?" Volkov told a virtual seminar held by the Atlantic Council on Friday.

Despite being a member of the Council of Europe, Russia has said it would ignore a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) to release Navalny.

October 2020: Alexey Navalny describes being poisoned

  October 2020: Alexey Navalny describes being poisoned In a report that originally aired last October, the Russian opposition leader tells Lesley Stahl about what he went through after falling ill on an airplane in August 2020 and why he won't let it stop him from the work he's doing against Russian President Vladimir Putin.Last month, President Biden announced new sanctions against Russia for incarcerating Navalny, who has become an international symbol of freedom in an increasingly autocratic country.

Russia is also a member of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) which confirmed in October that Navalny had been poisoned by a Novichok nerve agent.

The Kremlin denies involvement but faces calls to be suspended from the chemical weapons watchdog.

"Doesn't the approach of making new agreements with Putin lack very basic logic? Because Putin has already made many agreements and while he doesn't respect his own word," Volkov said.

Despite Russia recognizing the ECHR, which called for Navalny's release, Volkov said: "Putin just doesn't do it, for no reason. It's completely illegal."

"If there will be a Biden-Putin summit, and if the issues of new international agreements would be raised, then a logical approach would be new agreements should be based on Putin's readiness to act on his (previous) international obligations.

"If we sign something with Putin, we first have to have him to recognize his obligations towards human rights, to release political prisoners. To recognize his obligations to chemical weapons conditions, so to investigate Alexei Navalny's poisoning," he said.

Alexei Navalny's Group Awaiting Ruling That Could Ban Public Events, Using Banks

  Alexei Navalny's Group Awaiting Ruling That Could Ban Public Events, Using Banks In the latest attempt to shut down the operations of Alexei Navalny and his supporters, Russian authorities are asking a Moscow court to label the group as extremists and ban them from spreading information in the media, using banks and organizing public events.The Moscow prosecutor's office also asked courts to ban the Foundation for Fighting Corruption from spreading information in the media, taking part in elections, and using banks or organizing public events, according to Ivan Pavlov, a lawyer representing Navalny's team. The ruling on the motion is expected later on Monday.

"Then he could kind of try to reinstate his credibility and position himself once again as a credible partner with whom it makes logical sense to enter some new agreement."

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment.

Russia's financial watchdog Rosfinmonitoring has labeled Navalny's political network an "extremist" organization, lumping it in with groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda and making the risk too great of its staff being prosecuted and jailed.

Despite disbanding the network, Volkov said on Friday it would still pursue its goal to fight Putin-friendly politicians in September's parliamentary elections, but it would now have to take a "decentralized" approach.

He said that "entities in regional movements will be independent" and that Navalny's network in major cities across Russia's 11 time zones would still be able to draw upon a database of supporters and electronic equipment.

"Of course not all of them will survive," he said, "but many of them will run campaigns for their candidates."

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Defiant but cornered: Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny's movement is on the ropes .
Defiant but cornered: Jailed Kremlin critic Navalny's movement is on the ropesMOSCOW (Reuters) - He has been poisoned, jailed and his close aides are either being prosecuted or have fled abroad. His anti-Kremlin opposition movement is now also likely to soon be outlawed as extremist.

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