Russian opposition leader out of induced coma

Berlin, Sep 7 (efe-epa).- Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been taken out of an induced coma and is responding to speech, German doctors announced on Monday.

Navalny has been treated at Charité University Hospital in Berlin since August 22 after he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.

His medical team said in a statement that his condition has improved and he is being “weaned off mechanical ventilation”.

“He is responding to verbal stimuli. It remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning,” the statement added.

Doctors treating the Russian said they are in close contact with his wife, who approved them publishing the details about his condition.

The 44-year-old was airlifted to Berlin after suddenly collapsing on a flight in Siberia on 20 August.

Germany announced last week that he had been poisoned with Novichok which Chancellor Angela Markel described as attempted murder.

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.

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 is yet to share its findings with prosecutors in Russia.

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