Merkel, Macron offer ‘assistance’ to Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday offered assistance to Alexei Navalny and called for transparency in determining how the Russian opposition leader ended up in a coma after a suspected poisoning.

Macron said France will provide “all necessary assistance” to Navalny’s family as well as medical care or protection.

“We are extremely worried and saddened,” Macron said, insisting on clarity about what happened to Navalny.

Merkel, who appeared with Macron during a joint news conference in southern France, echoed the French leader’s sentiments.

“I hope he recovers quickly, and if asked to, we will provide him with medical assistance, including German hospitals, but the request has to come from there,” she said.

“What is particularly important is that the circumstances behind this are cleared up very quickly,” Merkel added. “We insist on this, because what we have heard so far is very unfavorable. It must be done very transparently.”

Navalny, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, became sick on a flight back to Moscow from a city in Siberia and was taken to a hospital after his plane made an emergency landing in Omsk.

Spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said Navalny, 44, is in “grave condition.”

“We assume that Alexei was poisoned with something mixed into his tea. It was the only thing that he drank in the morning. Alexei is now unconscious,” she said.

With Post wires

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