Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is in a coma and on life support, but his condition is “stable,” the head of the German NGO Cinema for Peace said on Saturday, shortly after Navalny arrived in Berlin.
“Alexei’s condition is stable,” Jaka Bizilj said, as the Russian politician was scheduled to be taken to a Berlin hospital for treatment after undergoing what his close associates have described as a “poisoning.”
The Russian opposition politician was airlifted from the Siberian city of Omsk on board a private jet sent in by the NGO after long intense negotiations. The medical plane landed at about 8:47 AM on the runway of Tegel Airport, in northwest Berlin, according to the Flightradar24 air-traffic monitoring site.
A police car and at least two emergency vehicles were positioned on the tarmac and Navalny was transported out of the plane, according to live images broadcast on Bild’s Internet site.
The 44-year-old opposition figure was to be taken to the Charité Hospital, one of Europe’s best known medical institutions.
The former lawyer had been admitted on Thursday to a Russian hospital, which originally opposed his transfer to Germany but gave the green light on Friday evening. The medical evacuation plane had arrived at Omsk Airport on Friday morning. German doctors examined Navalny and stated that they were able to transport him to Berlin to receive the medical care he needed.
Navalny was on his way from the Siberian town of Tomsk to Moscow by plane when he suffered a malaise, which forced the plane to make an emergency landing at Omsk.
After being admitted to hospital in the Western Siberian town, he was placed on life support. He was in a coma and in a serious state before his departure for Berlin.
Cinema for Peace, a human rights NGO, pledged to pay for his medical evacuation with private funds but gave no further details.
Navalny’s close associates contend that he was “intentionally poisoned with something mixed into his tea.”
However, Russian doctors said they found no traces of poison in his blood or urine. They believe he suffered from a “sugar imbalance” caused by a sharp drop in his blood sugar level.
Navalny’s spokesperson attributed the Russian doctors’ initial refusal to allow him to travel to an intention “to gain time and wait until the poison could no longer be detected in his system.”