Der Spiegel reports this with reference to its source. As the newspaper notes, the meeting was held in top secrecy. According to the publication, with such a gesture, Merkel demonstrated the solidarity of the German government with Navalny. “ The fact that Merkel herself visited the opposition politician should be the key for the Russian government to ensure that Berlin will not yield in this matter and find out the truth”, - the newspaper writes.
Navalny himself also confirmed that he met with Merkel in a German clinic, adding that calling their meeting a secret should not be. “There was a meeting, but you shouldn't call it “secret”. Rather, a private meeting and conversation with the family. I am very grateful to Chancellor Merkel for visiting me at the hospital”, - Navalny wrote on his Twitter.
Navalny became ill during his return from Tomsk to Moscow on August 20. The plane on which he flew urgently landed in Omsk. Navalny was hospitalized in a coma. Two days later, he was taken to a Berlin clinic. German doctors discovered the Novichok poison in his body. This has also been confirmed by three independent laboratories. Germany demanded an explanation from Russia, but Russian doctors did not find any signs of poisoning in Navalny's body while he remained in Russia. The politician came out of a coma on September 7, on September 23 he was discharged from the hospital.
As the newspaper notes, German doctors do not yet finally know what consequences for Navalny's health will result from his poisoning. An investigation by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) ends this week. The results of this investigation will be decisive for the further actions of the EU and the US towards Russia. Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already threatened Russia with sanctions if the OPCW confirms the poisoning.