Russian, Finnish presidents discuss Navalny case over phone

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto discussed the The case of Alexei Navalny in a phone call Friday, the Niinisto said on Twitter. 
”I also had a phone call with President of Russia Vladimir Putin. We discussed opportunities to settle the tense situation in Belarus. The case of Alexei Navalny and the question of organising his health care was also addressed.” Niinisto wrote.

Navalny, a long-time campaigner against corruption, collapsed on a plane on Thursday after drinking tea that his allies believe was laced with poison.

His allies said they feared authorities might try to cover up clues as to how he fell ill.

Navalny, 44, has been a thorn in the Kremlin’s side for more than a decade, exposing what he says is high-level graft and mobilising crowds of young protesters.

Two years ago, Pyotr Verzilov, another anti-Kremlin activist and a member of the Pussy Riot art collective, was treated at the Charite hospital in Berlin after he was poisoned in Moscow.

Medical staff at the Omsk hospital initially said on Friday that while Navalny’s condition had improved slightly overnight he was in too unstable a state to be safely transported out of the country.

They later said they had no objections after the German doctors deemed him fit for travel.

Navalny’s wife sent a letter to the Kremlin directly appealing for it to intervene and grant permission for him to be allowed to be flown out.