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Senate Panel chair says US should add more sanctions if Russia fails to release Navalny

WASHINGTON: Russia may face additional sanctions against individuals and banks should it fails to release and provide medical treatment to opposition figure Alexei Navalny, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez said on Wednesday.

“The Russian government must release Mr. Navalny immediately, and allow him access to desperately-needed medical care. We must be perfectly clear that if he is not afforded this care, we are prepared to impose sanctions not only on individuals, but on the Russian banking and financial sector. This is barbarism playing out in real time and we cannot be silent,” Menendez said.

Navalny, who was jailed in January for parole violations, went on a hunger strike three weeks ago in protest of the Russian government’s refusal to provide him medical treatment for severe back pain. Doctors close to his family have said Navalny could be days away from dying given the very high potassium levels that could be indicative of a coming heart failure.

Earlier on Wednesday, Russian Human Rights Commissioner Tatyana Moskalkova said that four doctors who are not related to the country’s prison service visited Navalny and report no serious concerns about his health.

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