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China reacts to death of Navalny — RT World News

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The Chinese Foreign Ministry has declined to comment on the fate of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny before medical examiners even determined the exact cause of death, arguing Moscow can handle its domestic matters without foreign interference.

“This is Russia’s internal affair. I will not comment,” the ministry’s spokesperson said in response to a question by AFP news agency on Saturday.

The reaction was immediately criticized by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, who accused Beijing of backing Moscow.

“Today we had the statement from the Chinese foreign minister saying that the death of Navalny is an ‘internal Russian issue.’ Well, it’s not an internal Russian issue” Stoltenberg told reporters at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, while blaming the Russian government for Navalny’s death.

“Beijing is watching closely the war in Ukraine. And what happens in Ukraine today can happen in Asia tomorrow. And the more successful Putin is in Ukraine, the more likely it is that [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] will use force against Taiwan,” he added.

Alexey Navalny, 47 –  who first rose to prominence as a far-right activist – passed away in a penal colony in Yamalo-Nenets Region on Friday. He was serving a 19-year prison sentence for offenses related to “extremism” and rehabilitation of Nazi ideology.

The exact cause of death remains unclear, although a source for RT Russian suggested that it was a blood clot. The Kremlin said that medical professionals were looking into the matter.

Numerous Western leaders were quick to suggest that the Kremlin bears responsibility for his passing, having described Navalny as an “opposition leader” for his participation in anti-government protests.

On Saturday, Moscow’s envoy to Washington Anatoly Antonov said the US reaction to Navalny’s death was “another attempt to interfere in the internal policy of the Russian Federation” and described the barrage of accusations as a “flow of bile.” 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed on Friday that Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service (FSIN) is taking all the necessary steps to investigate the death of Alexey Navalny and cautioned Western leaders from making “rabid statements.”

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