Di Maio urges Russia to punish Navalny culprits

Kremlin critic out of coma, long-term effects can't be ruled out

(ANSA) - ROME, SEP 7 - Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Monday urged Russia to punish "those responsible" for what Germany says was the poisoning of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.
    Di Maio said "we are deeply indignant" at the alleged poisoning with Novichok, the same nerve agent used in the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain in 2018.
    "We condemn what we deem a crime, which calls into question the capacity and the will of the Russian political system to bring those responsible to justice," said Di Maio.
    Berlin's Charité Hospital said Monday Navalny's condition had improved and he had been removed form a chemically induced coma.
    It said on Twitter: "the condition of Alexei #Navalny has improved. The patient has been removed from his medically induced coma and is being weaned off mechanical ventilation. He is responding to verbal stimuli".
    But it cautioned: "It remains too early to gauge the potential long-term effects of his severe poisoning".
    Navalny is the leading figure in Russia's extraparliamentary opposition.
    He is a strong critic of President Vladimir Putin.
    Navalny, 44, who fell ill on a flight to Moscow, was flown to Berlin where Chancellor Angela Merkel has said it is case of attempted murder, clearly aimed at silencing the fierce Kremlin critic.
    The Kremlin has said it is unable to give a proper response to the findings of the Berlin doctors, who say the same nerve agent used on the Skripols in Salisbury was used on Navalny. (ANSA).
   

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