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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

Poisoned Navalny ‘Wants to Return to Russia’

BERLIN – Poisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny wants to return to Russia, his spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Kira Yarmysh told Bloomberg: “No other option was ever considered.”

Navalny posted a picture on Instagram of himself sitting in his hospital bed in Berlin’s Charite University Hospital surrounded by his smiling family.

In an accompanying message, he said he was able to breathe without the help of a ventilator.

“Hi, this is Navalny. I have been missing you. I still can’t do much, but yesterday I managed to breathe on my own for the entire day,” he wrote.

“Just on my own, no extra help, not even a valve in my throat. I liked it very much.”

His medical team reported in a previous statement that his condition “continues to improve” and he can leave his bed for short periods.

Shortly after his Instagram post, his spokeswoman announced that he wants to return to Russia.

Yarmysh wrote on Twitter: “All morning journalists have been writing to me and asking, is it true that Alexei plans to return to Russia?

“Again, I can confirm to everyone: no other options were ever considered.”

He is not considering applying for asylum in Germany, but wants to return to his home country as soon as his health allows to continue his political work, the New York Times reported.

Navalny collapsed during a flight from Siberia to Moscow on Aug. 20, forcing an emergency landing in Omsk where 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 Aug. 22 after a request from his family and team.

A German army laboratory found he was exposed to a nerve agent from the Novichok group, which has also been confirmed by testing centers in Sweden and France.

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, which has denied any involvement.

Berlin has called on Russia to explain what happened and has threatened to impose sanctions if it does not receive an adequate response.

Navalny woke up from an induced coma a week ago and has been under police protection since his arrival in Berlin.

 

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