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20 Aug, 2020 13:04

‘We wish him a speedy recovery’: Putin’s spokesman open to possibility of protest leader Navalny going abroad for treatment

‘We wish him a speedy recovery’: Putin’s spokesman open to possibility of protest leader Navalny going abroad for treatment

The Kremlin may allow Russian anti-corruption campaigner Alexey Navalny to be treated abroad, despite borders being closed due to Covid-19. The activist is currently in intensive care in Omsk, following a potential poisoning.

Speaking to reporters, spokesman Dmitry Peskov made it clear that the authorities would consider any appeal go abroad “very quickly,” clarifying that, even with flight restrictions, many Russian citizens have been allowed to go to other countries for medical reasons.

Dr Yaroslav Ashikhmin, Navalny's personal physician, told Western-funded Russian-language news outlet Meduza that he hopes to take the anti-corruption campaigner to the European Union for treatment, with Hanover or Strasbourg being the two most likely destinations.

Navalny, who has ruffled feathers within Moscow’s elite circles with his corruption exposés, claimed to have been poisoned in 2019, when he suffered a severe allergic reaction while in prison. His personal team claimed that he was given “an unknown chemical substance,” but this was never confirmed.

When asked if the Kremlin was aware of Navalny’s current situation, Peskov replied that he is aware the activist "is in a serious condition" and that "doctors are doing everything necessary."

“Of course, like any citizen of our country, we wish him a speedy recovery,” the spokesman added.

According to reports, Navalny was taken ill on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in another city, Omsk, 2,000km east of the capital, where the blogger was taken to hospital. He is currently in intensive care. According to Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s spokesperson, he has toxic poisoning and is in a coma, breathing through a ventilation machine.

Shortly after Peskov’s statement, Navalny's former eye doctor Anastasia Vasilyeva announced that the campaigner's team were attempting to collect medical documentation for his transfer to the EU, but the hospital’s chief physician had refused to provide it. On Twitter, she officially asked the Kremlin for ITS assistance. Vasilyeva is the head of the 'Doctors Alliance,' an activist group closely linked to Navalny.

Also on rt.com Moscow protest leader Navalny could face large fine or compulsory labor after calling elderly WWII veteran a ‘traitor’

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