Russian dissident Alexei Navalny arrives in Berlin for medical treatment

World Saturday 22/August/2020 17:21 PM
By: Times News Service
Russian dissident Alexei Navalny arrives in Berlin for medical treatment

Russian dissident politician Alexei Navalny landed at Berlin Tegel airport after being airlifted from a hospital in Omsk, Russia. He is being treated for suspected poisoning at Berlin's Charite hospital.

The German military brought him to the hospital from the airport in an intensive care transporter, according to a news agency.

The Russian opposition leader is currently in a coma and breathing through a ventilator.

Jaka Bizilj, founder of Cinemas for Peace, the German NGO that funded Navalny's flight to Berlin, said the Russian politician's condition is "worrying," some news agencies quoted him as saying.

Berlin "hopes that the treatment at Charite leads to an improvement in his condition and enables a full recovery," according to a government spokesperson.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was among those who pushed for a speedy transfer for Navalny to Germany.

Wrangling between Germany and Russia

Navalny left Russia early Saturday on a flight bound for Germany following more than 24 hours of wrangling between German and Russian medics.

An ambulance carrying Navalny arrived at Omsk airport at around 6 a.m. local time (00:30 UTC). He left in a private plane chartered by Cinema for Peace that was sent to fly Navalny to Berlin.

Shortly before takeoff, his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh wrote on Twitter that he had boarded the plane.

"The fight for Alexei's life and health is just beginning and there is a long way to go, but at least the first step has been taken," she said.