Poisoned Navalny off ventilation, able to leave bed
(Update 2: adds details of Navalny’s condition)
Berlin, Sep 14 (efe-epa).- Poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is off ventilation and able to leave his bed, his doctors said Monday.
Medics treating him at Berlin’s Charité University Hospital said his condition “continues to improve” and he has been removed from mechanical ventilation.
“He is currently undergoing mobilization and is able to leave his bed for short periods of time,” they added in a statement.
It came after German authorities said earlier the same day that laboratories in Sweden and France have confirmed Navalny was poisoned with Novichok.
A German army laboratory had already determined he was exposed to a nerve agent from the Novichok group and the government requested the other two countries carry out additional tests.
French President Emmanuel Macron urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to explain the “attempted murder”.
Macron told Putin in a phone conversation that it is “imperative that all light be shed, without delay, on the circumstances of this attempted murder and who is responsible,” the Elysee said in a statement.
Berlin also reported the case to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons whose laboratories are carrying out analyses, according to German government spokesman Steffen Seibert.
German authorities are also considering the next steps with their European partners, he added.
Navalny collapsed during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on 20 August, forcing an emergency landing in Omsk before he was treated at a local hospital.
Russian doctors who treated him have said they found no traces of poisoning and attributed the collapse to metabolic problems.
Navalny was transferred to Berlin on 22 August after a request from his family and team.
Initial tests carried out at the medical center showed signs of poisoning and his case was referred to a specialized German military laboratory, which confirmed those suspicions.
Novichok, developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s, was used to poison former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in 2018 in the United Kingdom.
The case has generated diplomatic tensions between Berlin and Moscow.
Berlin has called on Russia to explain what happened and has threatened to impose sanctions if it does not receive an adequate response.
The Kremlin has denied any involvement and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Germany has not shared its findings with Russia.
Navalny woke up from an induced coma a week ago and was able to react when spoken to, according to medics at the hospital.
He has been under police protection since his arrival in Berlin and security has been reinforced since he woke up from the coma. EFE-EPA