White House 'disturbed' by Kremlin critic Navalny's reported worsening health

FILE PHOTO: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny attends a hearing to consider an appeal against an earlier court decision to change his suspended sentence to a real prison term, in Moscow, Russia February 20, 2021. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Wednesday said reports that jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s health is deteriorating were disturbing and urged Russian authorities to ensure his safety and health.

“We are disturbed by reports that Mr. Navalny’s health is worsening. We urge Russian authorities to take all necessary actions to ensure his safety. So long as he is in prison, the Russian government is responsible for his health and well being,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters at a briefing.

Reporting by Jeff Mason and Doina Chiacu; writing by Susan Heavey and Heather Timmons; editing by Chris Reese