Russian opposition leader arrives in Germany for treatment after ‘poisoning’

Moscow/Berlin, Aug 22 (efe-epa).- An air ambulance carrying comatose Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny landed at Berlin Tegel airport on Saturday after he was evacuated from the Siberian city of Omsk to be treated in the German capital for suspected poisoning.

“The plane with Alexei has just landed in Berlin,” his press secretary Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter.

Yarmysh in an earlier tweet said the fight for Navalny’s life had just begun and that “there is a lot to go through but now at least the first step has been taken.”

The air ambulance left Omsk around 8 am local time (02.00 GMT).

Navalny, 44, is accompanied by his wife Yulia on the plane, according to his aides.

He fell ill on a flight back to Moscow from Siberia on Thursday and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk after the plane made an emergency landing.

His team made arrangements to transfer him to Charité, a clinic in Berlin, amid allegations that he was poisoned and that the Kremlin is behind his illness.

After initially refusing to allow him to be transported to Berlin ostensibly for medical reasons, the doctors in Omsk permitted his evacuation on Friday.

Yarmysh had earlier argued that it was deadly dangerous for him to remain in the Omsk hospital in his current condition without equipment or a diagnosis.

She suspected that the doctors were delaying his evacuation to “wait until the poison in his body can no longer be traced.”

This was backed up by Navalny’s doctor, Anastasia Vasilyeva, who flew to Omsk from Moscow Thursday.

Yarmysh said the only thing he had consumed on Thursday was tea before his flight to Moscow and suspected that it was laced with a toxic substance.

In a video filmed by a passenger on the flight, Navalny can be heard screaming in pain.

According to a statement from S7 airlines, Navalny did not consume anything on board the plane.

Yarmysh earlier recalled an incident last year in which Navalny suffered an allergic reaction that his doctor said may have indicated poisoning.

At the time, he was serving a 30-day prison sentence after his arrest for calling people to attend an anti-government protest.

“Obviously the same thing has happened again,” she said.

Navalny had been traveling through Siberia to support independent candidates in next months’ local elections.

He is an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin and has been at the forefront of the fight against corruption in the country.

The politician campaigned to challenge Putin in the 2018 presidential election but was barred from running after fraud charges were filed against him, which the opposition leader says were invented.

Related Articles

Back to top button