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Alexei Navalny: ‘Poisoned’ Russian opposition leader leaves hospital in Siberia on flight to Germany

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has left a Siberian hospital and is believed to be on a flight to Germany.

The prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin is in a coma and on a ventilator after drinking tea that his supporters believe was laced with poison.

He was admitted to intensive care on Thursday, after falling ill on a flight back to Moscow.

After a day of arguing over Mr Navalny’s care, doctors at the hospital in Omsk finally gave permission for him to be moved to Charit, a clinic in Berlin that has a history of treating foreign leaders and dissidents.

Omsk hospital’s deputy chief doctor Anatoly Kalinichenko said medical staff had decided that “we don’t oppose his transfer to another hospital”.

He said Mr Navalny‘s condition had “stabilised” and that his wife and brother “took the risks on themselves” for his transfer.

Initially the doctors in Omsk had said Mr Navalny was too unstable to be moved, even after a plane with German specialists arrived.

Mr Navalny’s supporters said the doctors were stalling until any poison in his system would no longer be traceable.

However, the hospital’s chief doctor, Alexander Murakhovsky, said in a video published by Omsk news outlet NGS55 blamed a metabolic disorder and said a drop in blood sugar may have caused Mr Navalny to lose consciousness.

The Kremlin also denied resistance to the transfer was political, with spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying that it was purely a medical decision.

But on Thursday, the leaders of France and Germany had said they were ready to assist Mr Navalny and his family, also insisting on an investigation into what had happened.

On Friday, European Union spokeswoman Nabila Massrali said the bloc was urging Russian authorities to allow Mr Navalny’s transfer overseas.

The European Court of Human Rights also said it was considering a request from his supporters to urge the Russian government to agree to the transfer.

The German doctors later examined Mr Navalny and said he was fit to be transported, according to Cinema For Peace, the charity that organised the emergency transfer to Berlin.

Jaka Bizilj, a film producer in the group, said: “I understand he’s still unconscious, but they’re used to such special assignments and they say very clearly he can fly and they want to fly him.”

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