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Russia Says 'Obliged' to Detain Alexei Navalny Upon Return from Germany

File photo of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

File photo of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Navalny has been in Germany since late August after he collapsed on a flight from Siberia to Moscow and was flown to Berlin by medical aircraft.

Russia's prison service said on Thursday it was "obliged" to detain Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny who has said he plans to return to Moscow from Germany on Sunday.

Navalny has been in Germany since late August after he collapsed on a flight from Siberia to Moscow and was flown to Berlin by medical aircraft.

Western countries say the 44-year-old opposition leader was poisoned with the Soviet-designed nerve toxin Novichok.

The anti-graft campaigner and his allies accuse Russian authorities of doing everything to force Navalny into exile.

On Thursday, the Moscow branch of Russia's Federal Prison Service (FSIN) said in a statement it was "obliged to take all actions to detain" Navalny pending a court decision to turn a suspended sentence he received in 2014 into a jail term.

Earlier this week, authorities asked a Moscow court to turn Navalny's suspended sentence on fraud charges into real jail time for violating the terms of his sentence.

FSIN said that Navalny was obliged to report to them at least twice a month as part of his probation period that ended on December 29 last year.

The statement added that in 2020 Navalny did not report for registration on six occasions.

"For each violation by A A Navalny official warnings were issued about the possibility of the suspended sentence being cancelled and replaced with real incarceration," the prison service added.

Last December, Russian investigators said they launched a probe into Navalny allegedly misappropriating more than $4 million of donations to his organisations.

Navalny insists the poisoning attack was carried out by Russia's security agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, a claim that the Kremlin denies.

Navalny said Wednesday he was "almost healthy" and that he would fly back to Moscow on Sunday.


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