Jaka Bizilj, founder of the German NGO Cinema for Peace Foundation, told the Bild newspaper: “The plane is in the air, we have all the necessary paper and hope that Alexei will be ready for transport tomorrow morning so that we can fly to Berlin. ”Kira Yarmysh, Navalny’s press secretary, has previously expressed fears that hospital officials are obstructing the process of moving Russian President Vladimir Putin’s eminent critic overseas.
In a video statement released Thursday evening, she said: “We ask the management of the hospital where Alexei now lies not to prevent us from obtaining all the documents necessary for his transfer.
Navalny was flying from Tomsk in Siberia to Moscow on Thursday when he suddenly fell ill and passed out, prompting the captain to make an emergency landing in Omsk. Mobile video filmed on the plane showed medical staff rushing aboard as Navalny screamed.
Navalny, 44, was in a coma and on a ventilator in intensive care in Omsk, Yarmysh said Thursday. She advised against trusting any other source of information about Navalny’s health.
Officials at Omsk hospital gave conflicting information about his condition and did not allow his family or supporters to see him. Anatoly Kalinichenko, the hospital’s deputy chief doctor, confirmed that Navalny was unconscious and on a ventilator, but called his condition “stable”. Doctors “are currently engaged in the process of saving his life,” he said Thursday afternoon.
Hospital staff also refused to show them test results that would indicate poisoning, she said. Investigators who said they wanted to search for drugs or other potential toxins had also seized her property, she said.
Yarmysh believes a cup of tea Navalny drank at an airport cafe contained a toxin and was the only thing he had ingested that morning. “I’m sure it was deliberate poisoning,” she said, linking it to the upcoming elections in the Siberian regions they had visited.
If confirmed as a poisonous attack, it would be the latest in a series of high-profile, often poisoned, attacks on opposition figures and Russian dissidents, including the poisoning of Sergei Skripal in 2018 and the 2015 shooting death of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.
The suspected poisoning has attracted worldwide attention. White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the news was “extremely worrying” and could affect US-Russian relations.
“He is a very courageous man. He is a very courageous politician to have stood up to Putin in Russia, and our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, ”O’Brien told Fox News. “If the Russians were behind this… that’s something we’re going to factor into how we treat the Russians in the future. ”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined French President Emmanuel Macron in expressing concern over Navalny’s condition and said he could receive treatment in Germany or France.
“I hope he can recover and naturally whether in France or in Germany he can receive all the necessary medical help and support from us,” Merkel said at a joint press conference with Macron.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov wished Navalny a “speedy recovery”, adding that the Kremlin would help him move him abroad if necessary. Peskov said the poisoning allegations were “just speculation” until tests proved otherwise.