After a 3-day delay, doctors in Omsk, Russia have finally cleared opposition leader Alexei Navalny to be airlifted to Germany. The investigative journalist and outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in a poisoning-induced coma for 36 hours, say his representatives.
Navalny's doctors at a state-run in Omsk say he wasn't poisoned, instead blaming a 'metabolic disorder' and low blood sugar. They said he was too unstable to move after German specialists arrived in Russia by plane early Friday morning.
Navalny's supporters say the move by authorities was intended to delay treatment by foreign medical experts until the poison in his system was longer traceable.
He is scheduled to fly out of Omsk to Germany on Saturday morning.
From the Guardian:
"The patient is in stable condition … we do not object to his transfer to another hospital, as will be indicated by his relatives," the deputy chief doctor Anatoly Kalinichenko said on Friday night, reversing an early decision to keep Navalny at the hospital on medical grounds.
Navalny's wife had appealed directly to Vladimir Putin to allow the evacuation. A medical plane chartered by a German NGO has been waiting at Omsk airport since early Friday morning to take him to Berlin's Charité hospital.
Navalny's aide, Kira Yarmysh, said hospital officials had suddenly reversed their position on Friday evening. "It is a pity that it took so long for the doctors to make this decision. The plane has been waiting since this morning, the documents were also ready then."
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