Russian doctors resisting German offers to treat poisoned Putin critic
Russian doctors treating Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny are refusing offers from a facility in Germany to treat him after a suspected poisoning.
Medical officials treating Navalny refused to release him for evacuation to the German clinic. His family and aides say he is in danger if he stays in Russia, The Guardian reported.
Navalny’s wife, Yulia Navalnaya, appealed directly to Russian President Vladimir Putin, stating in a letter that her husband “needs qualified medical assistance” and asking permission for transport to Berlin’s Charite hospital.
Navalny became ill Thursday with suspicions that he was poisoned. He is currently in a coma in a medical facility in the Siberian city of Omsk.
“We are in contact with the authorities and hope that all permits for the transport and a medical report for the coma patient will be given tonight,”Jaka Bizil, the head of German nongovernmental organization Cinema For Peace foundation, said, adding that the Charite hospital was ready to take him.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the press that the country was ready to provide medical support to Navalny, Reuters reported.
“If asked to we will provide him with medical assistance, including German hospitals, but the request has to come from there,” she said at a news conference held with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Navalny, a staunch critic of Putin, fell ill Thursday after a plane ride to Moscow.
He reportedly drank tea at an airport café in the Siberian city of Tomsk.
If it is confirmed that he was poisoned, the incident would mark just the latest example in a series of suspected cases where critics and opponents of the Kremlin have come under attack.
Kira Yarmysh, press secretary for Navalny, called the Russian medical facility’s refusal to discharge him an “attempt on his life.”
The Kremlin has denied it had anything to do with what happened to Navalny.