Russia’s Navalny out of coma after poisoning

Russia’s Navalny out of coma after poisoning

Published24 minutes ago

Alexei Navalny
image captionAlexei Navalny was flown to Berlin for treatment in August after falling ill

Russia’s poisoned opposition figure Alexei Navalny is out of an induced coma and his condition has improved, says the Berlin hospital treating him.Doctors say he is responding to verbal stimuli. Mr Navalny, 44, was flown to Germany after falling ill on a flight in Siberia in August.His team says he was poisoned on orders from Russian President Vladimir Putin, who denies involvement.German doctors say he was poisoned with a Novichok nerve agent.On Monday, the Charité hospital in Berlin said in a statement Mr Navalny was being weaned off mechanical ventilation.”He is responding to verbal stimuli. It remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning,” it said.It also said doctors were in close contact with Mr Navalny’s wife.

There is growing pressure in Germany for Chancellor Angela Markel to take a tougher stance over the incident. Last week, she said Mr Navalny was the victim of attempted murder and that the world would look to Russia for answers.A senior German MP on Monday demanded a halt to the Nord Stream gas pipeline, a huge energy project with Russia that would double the flow of Russian gas to Europe.On Monday, the Kremlin said it was “absurd” to blame Russia for Mr Navalny’s poisoning.”Attempts to somehow associate Russia with what happened are unacceptable to us, they are absurd,” Mr Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said.Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has previously said the allegation that Novichok was used to poison the leader was not backed up by evidence.A Novichok nerve agent was used to poison former Russian spy Sergei Skripal

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