French President Emmanuel Macron offered his country’s help to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny following his suspected poisoning, while other world leaders reacted to the sudden illness of the president’s vocal enemy Vladimir Poutine.
Macron told reporters on Thursday that France had offered the opposition leader and his family assistance with medical care or other unspecified protections.
ALEXEI NAVALNY, A TOP PUTIN FOE, ALLEGED POISONED AND HOSPITALIZED IN THE COMA
“We are extremely worried and saddened,” Macron said, insisting on the need to clarify what happened.
Navalny remains hospitalized in a coma following what his collaborators consider to be deliberate poisoning linked to his political activity. The 44-year-old has been a thorn in the Kremlin camp, leading an anti-corruption crusade that exposed government officials to use their authority for personal gain.
With medics yet to confirm the diagnosis, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was necessary to wait for test results showing what caused Navalny’s condition.
Although Russia has not fully reopened its borders after a coronavirus lockdown, Peskov said authorities would consider a request allowing Navalny to leave the country for treatment.
RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER IN COMA AFTER ALLEGED POISONING FORESTS DEATH IN 2017
Meanwhile, reports of the Putin critic’s alleged poisoning have caught the attention of other world leaders.
Speaking at the White House, President Trump said U.S. officials are reviewing the situation surrounding the opposition leader’s illness, Reuters reported.
British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a tweet that he was “deeply concerned” by reports of the alleged poisoning of the politician.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at a joint press conference with Macron, said Germany would also insist on transparency regarding Navalny’s disease and expressed support for him.
“Obviously, Germany will allow her to have all the necessary medical aid also in German hospitals,” Merkel said. “But of course that has to be a wish expressed from there. ”
“What is also very important is that it will be urgently clarified how this could happen to the situation,” Merkel added.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius tweeted that reports of suspected poisonings were “very worrying”.
“If confirmed, those responsible must face the consequences,” Linkevicius said.
Navalny had fallen ill on a flight back to Moscow from Tomsk, a city in Siberia, and made an emergency landing in Omsk, Navalny spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said on Twitter. She told Echo Moskvy radio station that he must have consumed poison in a tea he drank in an airport cafe before boarding the plane.
Navalny was on a ventilator in a hospital intensive care unit early Thursday, his wife arrived at the hospital but could not see him immediately. His spokesperson said medics had yet to allow Navalny to receive visitors. Doctors said he is stable but remains in a coma.
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Like many other opposition politicians in Russia, Navalny has been frequently arrested by law enforcement and harassed by pro-Kremlin groups. Nor is he the first opposition figure to suffer from a mysterious poisoning.
Amy Kellogg of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.