German chemical weapons experts say the test shows that the 44-year-old was poisoned with a Soviet-era nerve agent, who last week demanded from the German government that Russia investigate the case.
“The patient has been removed from his medically induced coma and is being removed by mechanical ventilation,” the Charit Hospital in Berlin said in a statement. “He is responding to oral stimuli. It is too early to estimate the potential long-term effects of his severe toxicity.”
It added that the decision to release a public account of his situation was made in consultation with Navlani’s wife.
Navalny was in an induced coma at a hospital in Berlin, as he was taken to Germany for treatment on 22 August.
News of his gradual recovery surfaced as German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office said he may be ready to reconsider the fate of a controversial German-Russian gas pipeline project – over Moscow’s stonewalling about the Navalny case A sign of Berlin’s growing frustration.
German officials said tests last week showed “no doubt evidence” that Novalny was poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. The Soviet-era Novichok was identified by British authorities in 2018 as a poison used in England on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter.
Russia has denied that the Kremlin was involved in poisoning Navalny and accused Germany of failing to provide evidence about the poison in late August.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Sunday that the Russian response could determine that Germany has long been supportive of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would bypass Ukraine and bring Russian gas under the Baltic Sea to Germany.
“Chancellor also believes it is wrong to say anything,” Markel spokesman Stephen Seibert told reporters on Monday.
Earlier, Merkel had insisted on “decoupling” the naval case from the pipeline project, which was strongly opposed by the US and strongly opposed by Russia.
In August, three US Republican senators threatened sanctions against the operator of a German Baltic Sea port as a staging post for ships involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2.
Seabart cautioned that it was premature to expect Moscow to respond to a request for help with the Navalny investigation within a few days, but made it clear that Berlin wanted an answer soon.
“I cannot express a clear, time-limited expectation, except that we are certainly not talking about months or the end of the year,” he said.
German diplomats rejected the Russian suggestion that Berlin was to blame for any delay in the investigation of the case, noting that Navalny was treated for suspected poisoning in the Siberian city of Omsk on 20 August.
“All the evidence, witnesses, traces and the place next to where the crime was committed is likely in Siberia,” said German Foreign Ministry spokesman Christopher Berger.
Germany’s opposition Green Party co-leader, Robert Habeck, called on the government to take a strong stance and “bury” the pipeline project.
The project “divides Europe, it is economically fruitless and oversized, and it is wrong in terms of security policy,” Habeck said. To accomplish this would mean “Russia can do what it wants. This signal should not be sent.”
Russian envoy Mikhail Ulyanov of international organizations in Vienna expressed doubts about the timing of demands to connect the pipeline to the naval case.
“The suspicious coincidence of the Navalny case and the final stage of Nord Stream 2 construction, which is strict to shut down some states. I am not fond of conspiracy theories but it is clear that tragic events with Navalny are very topical for opponents and Supportive. NS2, “he tweeted.
Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a critic of Putin who lives in exile in London, told CBS News in 2017 that he could do little to avoid the attack. “It’s like walking through a construction site with bricks falling from above. A brick can strike you, it can’t strike you. The only option you have is to walk through this construction site. Or not. ”
In 2017, “CBSN: On Assignment” spent a week with Navalny. Watch the video here: