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Doctors say condition of Moscow protest leader Navalny has stabilized, as Kremlin promises probe if traces of poison are found

The doctor also said there are no plans to transfer Navalny to Moscow. His supporters have requested that be moved to Germany or France so he can be admitted to a specialist clinic. Earlier, President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that “if the Kremlin or the Russian Health Ministry received a request for Navalny’s transfer to a foreign hospital, it would be considered promptly.”

“So far, we have held several telemedical consultations with our country’s leading experts, who are able to provide consultations regarding this patient,” Dr Kalinichenko told reporters on Thursday evening. “All of them think that all treatment and diagnostical efforts have been conducted correctly and to a full extent. The fact that we have managed to stabilize him, to get the current clinical picture, gives cause for cautious optimism regarding his state.”

According to Dr Kalinichenko, the experts ruled out that Navalny may have had a heart attack, a stroke or that he contracted coronavirus. “There is no data on traumatic injuries, including traumatic brain injury,” he detailed. “There is no evidence of stroke or acute myocardial infarction… we didn’t find any covid infections.” The regional Ministry of Health also said that the activist does not have cerebral edema.

Meanwhile, Peskov has pledged that authorities will launch an investigation if it emerges the Moscow protest leader was poisoned. The statement came as S7 airlines revealed that the activist did not eat or drink anything on board his scheduled flight from Siberia to the capital.

“First, we need to wait for the final test results that will help doctors determine what happened, what caused this situation, what caused [Navalny] to lose consciousness,” the spokesman explained. “After that, if a poisoning took place, if there are corresponding statements or, if the law enforcement makes other decisions, there will be an investigation.”

The Kremlin press secretary refused to comment on reports of several police arriving at the hospital where Navalny is currently receiving treatment. When asked whether Putin had been informed of the incident, Peskov noted that “the general situation described in the media… is accessible to absolutely everyone, it is accessible to the Russian leader as well, through media reviews that he receives on a regular basis.” Peskov noted that the situation is transparent, as “doctors regularly inform people of what they are doing, of the condition the patient is in.”

When asked whether the Kremlin considers the situation with Navalny’s possible poisoning a special case due to the critical attitude of the opposition politician to the current government, Peskov said that “the current government has many critics.” He added that “of course, if the life of a Russian citizen is under threat, the situation is serious. Both doctors and law enforcement treat all citizens equally seriously.”

“The doctors are doing everything that needs to be done, the best doctors in Omsk are engaged,” Peskov pointed out, adding that, according to media reports, Omsk medical workers “are employing telemedicine techniques and holding consultations with experts from Moscow.”

The press service of the regional health ministry department said that Navalny is currently in a natural coma, according to news agency TASS. “Currently, the patient is in a natural coma, he is still on an artificial lung ventilation machine,” it stated.

On Thursday morning, Navalny’s spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said that the plane carrying the blogger, YouTube star, anti-corruption activist and Moscow protest leader had made an emergency landing in Omsk after he suddenly felt unwell in mid-flight. According to Yarmysh, Navalny only drank tea in the morning. She claimed that he may have been poisoned. 

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