Alexei Navalny, Russia’s main opposition leader, has regained consciousness after a long coma. In the meantime, he was now responding to verbal stimuli, said German hospital authorities on Monday.
Navalny is being treated at the Charite Hospital in Berlin, Germany. In a statement, the hospital authorities said, “It is not possible to say at this time how long-term damage has been caused to Navalny’s body by the deadly poisoning.”
Navalny, a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, fell ill on August 20 on a domestic flight from Tomsk, Siberia, to the capital, Moscow. Poison was mixed in his drink before he drank tea at Tomsk airport, according to his supporters.
His flight with the ailing Navalny made an emergency landing at Omsk in Siberia. He was first treated at a hospital in the same city.
Doctors at the hospital where Navalny was admitted immediately said he had toxic chemicals in his blood. But a few hours later, instead of changing the tune, they began to say that “there was no such chemical in his blood.”
Navalny’s wife then complained that her husband would not receive proper treatment in Russia. That’s why she wants to take Navalny abroad. Then the doctors interrupted and said that “if she tried to take him abroad in this condition, he could die on the way.”
After some Western leaders called Putin, the hospital authorities released Navalny and he was quickly flown to Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel says her government has concluded that Navalny was given a Soviet-style ‘Novichok’ nerve agent. This same agent tried to kill Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK.
However, Moscow has denied the allegations, saying it had found no evidence that Navalny had been poisoned.
Germany’s gas pipeline Nord Stream-2 project with Russia is set to be ruined due to this incident involving Navalny. Internal political pressure is mounting in Germany to withdraw from the project.
Angela Merkel said on Monday that she did not rule out the possibility of imposing sanctions on the pipeline project in response to Navalny’s incident.