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Putin critic Alexei Navalny out of coma after Novichok poisoning

Click to play video 'UN rights chief urges Russia carries out probe of Navalny poisoning' UN rights chief urges Russia carries out probe of Navalny poisoning
WATCH: UN rights chief urges Russia carries out probe of Navalny poisoning – Sep 8, 2020

BERLIN — Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny has been removed from a medically induced coma and is responding to speech, Berlin’s Charite hospital said on Monday.

The hospital, which has been treating Navalny since he was airlifted to Germany after falling ill on a Russian domestic flight last month, said his condition has improved and he is being weaned off mechanical ventilation.

Read more: NATO condemns ‘appalling assassination attempt’ of Putin critic Alexei Navalny

“It remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning,” Charite said in a statement.

Navalny, a prominent critic of President Vladimir Putin, was airlifted to Germany last month after collapsing on a flight from the Siberian city of Tomsk to Moscow. It made an emergency landing in Omsk so that Navalny could be stretchered off.

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Click to play video 'Western governments weigh Russia response after Navalny poisoning' Western governments weigh Russia response after Navalny poisoning
Western governments weigh Russia response after Navalny poisoning – Sep 5, 2020

Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her government has concluded Navalny, 44, was poisoned with Novichok, the same substance that Britain said was used against a Russian double agent and his daughter in an attack in England in 2018.

Moscow says it has seen no evidence he was poisoned.

The incident has put the future of Germany’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline with Russia in doubt as a growing number of polticians call for support for the project to be withdrawn unless Russia helps to clear up the circumstances around Navalny’s poisioning.

Merkel’s spokesman said on Monday she does not rule out imposing sanctions on the pipeline in response to the suspected poisoning.

Click to play video 'Trump: ‘No proof’ Putin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned' Trump: ‘No proof’ Putin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned
Trump: ‘No proof’ Putin critic Alexei Navalny was poisoned – Sep 4, 2020

Novichok is a deadly group of nerve agents developed by the Soviet military in the 1970s and 1980s.

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Britain says Russia used Novichok to poison former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the city of Salisbury two years ago.

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