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Russia poisoning: Kremlin BLOCKS transfer of Putin rival abroad for treatment in Europe

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Alexei Navalny, an outspoken critic of the Kremlin, is fighting for his life Russian hospital after he fell ill on a plane shortly after drinking tea. The 44-year-old is currently in a coma at a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk and according to Mr Navalny’s representative, doctors say he is too ill to be moved to another facility.

His press secretary Kira Yarmysh has claimed the decision to halt his transfer came from directly from the Kremlin and warned his life remains in danger in Russia.

She said: “The ban on transporting Navalny in an attempt on his life being carried out right now by doctors and the deceitful authorities that have authorised it.”

Head doctor Alexander Murakhovsky refused to rule out the possibility of Mr Navalny being poisoned.

He added there was five possible diagnoses of Mr Navalny’s condition and test results would be available within two days.

The anti-corruption activist had been due to be flown to Germany for emergency care on Friday, but the transfer was reportedly cancelled just one hour before.

According to German media, a plane left Nuremberg with a medical team during the early hours ready to take the patient to Charité hospital in Berlin.

Jaka Bizilj, founder of the Berlin-based Cinema for Peace Foundation said: “The plane is in the air, we have all the necessary paper and hope that Alexei is ready for transport tomorrow morning so that we can fly to Berlin.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the suspected poisoning would need to be confirmed by laboratory tests and that doctors were doing everything they could to help Mr Navalny.

Mr Navalny began feeling ill on a domestic flight to Moscow on Thursday morning after drinking tea at an airport cafe in the Siberian city of Tomsk.

His condition quickly deteriorated and the pilot was forced to make an emergency landing at the city of Omsk.

Mr Navalny was then taken off the plane and strapped to a stretcher.

Ms Yarmysh said: “We assume that Alexei was poisoned with something mixed into his tea. It was the only thing that he drank in the morning.”

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was “deeply concerned” by the reports and sent his thoughts to him and his family.

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The Trump administration confirmed the incident is being looked at by his team in Washington.

Mr Trump’s national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, called the alleged poisoning of Mr Nalvany “extraordinarily concerning”.

He added: “If the Russians were behind this it’s something that we’re going to factor into how we deal with the Russians going forward.”

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