Putin critic Alexei Navalny can be flown to Germany after alleged poisoning

Click to play video: 'Navalny to be flown to Berlin after suspected poisoning' Navalny to be flown to Berlin after suspected poisoning
WATCH: After initially saying no, Russian doctors are now letting opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who remains in a coma, to be flown to Germany for treatment. And as Crystal Goomansingh explains, doctors are also changing their explanation on what caused Navalny to become ill – Aug 21, 2020

OMSK, Russia — Russian doctors said on Friday gravely ill Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny could be flown to Germany to receive medical attention after the politician’s allies accused the Russian authorities of deliberately trying to stop his evacuation.

Navalny, a long-time opponent of President Vladimir Putin and his lieutenants and a campaigner against corruption, collapsed on a plane on Thurday after drinking tea that his allies believe was laced with poison.

Click to play video: 'Russian doctors allow Kremlin critic Navalny to be flown to Germany' Russian doctors allow Kremlin critic Navalny to be flown to Germany
Russian doctors allow Kremlin critic Navalny to be flown to Germany – Aug 21, 2020

German doctors flew in to evacuate Navalny, 44, at the request of his wife and supporters who said they feared authorities might try to cover up clues as to how he fell ill, and said the hospital treating him was badly equipped.

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Read more: Who is Alexei Navalny? Longtime Putin critic allegedly poisoned

Russian medical staff at the hospital in Omsk, Siberia initially said on Friday Navalny’s condition had improved slightly overnight but that he was in too unstable a state to be safely transported out of the country.

But on Friday evening they said they would not object to him being moved after the German doctors were granted access to Navalny and said they thought he was fit to travel.

A senior doctor at the hospital, Anatoly Kalinichenko, said the hospital could help transport Navalny to the airport and that he would be moved within several hours.

Click to play video: 'Putin opponent Alexei Navalny in coma under suspicious circumstances' Putin opponent Alexei Navalny in coma under suspicious circumstances
Putin opponent Alexei Navalny in coma under suspicious circumstances – Aug 20, 2020

.”..We have taken the decision that we do not object to him being transfered to a different hospital,” Kalinichenko said.

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The decision came after Navalny’s wife Yulia sent a letter to the Kremlin directly appealing for it to intervene and for it to grant permission for him to be allowed to fly out.

Alexander Murakhovsky, the head doctor at the hospital, said earlier that Navalny had been diagnosed with a metabolic disease that may have been caused by low blood sugar.

He said traces of industrial chemical substances had been found on Navalny’s clothes and fingers and that doctors did not believe he had been poisoned.

Read more: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny in coma after possible poisoning

Navalny fell ill while on a domestic flight. He was taken on a stretcher off the plane and rushed to hospital after it made an emergency landing in Omsk.

Navalny has been the biggest thorn in the Kremlin’s side for more than a decade, exposing what he says is high-level graft and mobilizing crowds of young protesters.

He has been repeatedly detained for organizing public meetings and rallies and sued over his investigations into corruption. He was barred from running in a presidential election in 2018.

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