German Chancellor Merkel visited the Russian opposition leader Navalny while he was in Berlin’s Charité hospital, reports the German newspaper Der Spiegel. According to the Weekly, that visit was classified.

Navalny was admitted to the Charité Hospital in Berlin on 22 August, where he was treated for 32 days. He was taken to that hospital after becoming seriously ill two days earlier on a domestic flight in Russia. German, French and Swedish researchers concluded that the 44-year-old opposition leader was poisoned with the neurotoxin Novitschok. The Kremlin denies any involvement in the poisoning.

A spokesman for the Federal Chancellor does not wish to comment on the report by Der Spiegel to the Reuters press office.

Navalny was released from the hospital last week. The head of his team told the German station RTL yesterday that the opposition leader is recovering faster than expected.

“He’s doing much better, almost unexpectedly better,” he said. “Of course that’s good news that makes us happy.”

According to the team chief, Navalny is still being treated and heavily guarded.

“I don’t think there can be another attack in Berlin, but the security guards have a different opinion. He’s heavily guarded.”

Navalny is supposed to return to Russia once he’s fully recovered. ”

He understands the risks very well,” says his associate. “It will not be easy and many things will change, to reduce the chance of a second attack.”

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