The German hospital treating Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny says he has been taken out of an induced coma and is responsive. Navalny, a fierce, high-profile critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was flown to Germany on Aug. 22, two days after falling ill on a domestic flight in Russia. German chemical weapons experts say tests show that the 44-year-old Navalny was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent, prompting the German government last week to demand that Russia investigate the case. Berlin’s Charite hospital said Monday that Navalny’s condition has improved, allowing doctors to end the medically induced coma and gradually ease him off mechanical ventilation. It noted that he was responding to speech but “long-term consequences of the serious poisoning can still not be ruled out.” German authorities said last week that tests showed “proof without doubt” that he had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. British authorities identified the Soviet-era Novichok as the poison used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office indicated on Monday that she might be willing to rethink the fate of a controversial German-Russian gas pipeline project -… Read full this story
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