Alexei Navalny says Merkel visited him in Berlin hospital

“I am very grateful to Chancellor Merkel for visiting me at the hospital,” the anti-corruption campaigner wrote on Twitter following reports of the meeting in German media.
Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh has said the Kremlin critic plans to return to Russia but will remain in Germany until he has recovered.(Reuters file photo)
Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh has said the Kremlin critic plans to return to Russia but will remain in Germany until he has recovered.(Reuters file photo)
Updated on Sep 28, 2020 02:42 PM IST
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Moscow | ByAgence France-Presse| Posted by: Harshit Sabarwal

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny said on Monday that German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited him at a Berlin hospital where he was treated after being poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent.

“I am very grateful to Chancellor Merkel for visiting me at the hospital,” the anti-corruption campaigner wrote on Twitter following reports of the meeting in German media.

The 44-year-old Kremlin critic was discharged from Charite hospital in Berlin last week after receiving treatment over several weeks for exposure to Novichok.

He fell ill on a flight from Siberia to Moscow in August in what his allies say was a state-sanctioned attack -- labs in France, Germany and Sweden confirmed he had been poisoned.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported on Sunday that Merkel had visited Navalny in what it described as a “secret” meeting at Charite hospital that underscored the Chancellor’s personal commitment to Navalny’s case.

Navalny confirmed the meeting but argued the label “secret” was not accurate, saying: “Rather, a private meeting and conversation with the family.”

The Kremlin has denied allegations of involvement in the poisoning and accused Western leaders of launching a disinformation campaign over the opposition leader’s illness.

Russia insists medical tests carried out by doctors in Omsk found no poison in Navalny’s body. It says it lacks grounds for a criminal investigation, despite international calls for a transparent probe.

Navalny’s spokesperson Kira Yarmysh has said the Kremlin critic plans to return to Russia but will remain in Germany until he has recovered.

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