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Navalny’s treatment in Germany could last ‘weeks’: aide


Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny gestures during his trial at a Moscow courthouse on August 27, 2018. A Moscow court on August 27, 2018 gave a 30-day jail sentence to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny over an unsanctioned protest earlier this year, just days before another planned political rally. / AFP PHOTO / Vasily MAXIMOV

Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny is likely to remain in Germany for weeks as he still requires lengthy treatment to help him recover from poisoning, his spokeswoman has said.

The 44-year-old Kremlin critic was discharged on Wednesday from a Berlin hospital after he fell violently ill in Siberia and tests found he was poisoned with Novichok nerve agent.

“Navalny’s recovery process will naturally take a long time,” his spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said in an online broadcast late Thursday.

“He is staying in Germany for now, he will undergo rehabilitation there. It’s clearly not a question of a few days and probably not a couple of weeks,” she said.

Navalny wrote in a post on Instagram on Wednesday about the after-effects of poisoning, saying he cannot throw a ball with his left hand and is struggling to write.

He said he was seeing a physiotherapist every day, working to regain balance and control of his fingers, and may attend a rehabilitation centre.

He said he had asked a neuropsychologist how to “get back not only from the physical point of view but in my head too,” and was advised to read a lot, write on social media and play video games.

Yarmysh said Thursday that Russian bailiffs had frozen Navalny’s flat in Moscow and bank accounts over a court judgement ordering him and his allies to pay almost 88 million rubles ($1.1 million at the current exchange rate) to a company they targeted in an investigation.

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