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Kremlin critic Navalny convalescing in Black Forest - local media

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is recuperating in Germany’s southern Black Forest region after being discharged last month from hospital in Berlin, where he was treated for poisoning, local media reported.

The Suedkurier newspaper, citing several sources, reported that Navalny was staying in a holiday home in Ibach, a municipality in southwestern Germany, near the Swiss border.

The Ibach mayor wrote on the municipality’s website: “Since this week a guest, a person of public life and public interest, is staying with his family in Ibach. They require a very high level of personal protection.”

A Reuters witness said several police vehicles were parked on Thursday in the village of Oberibach, part of the district, and police had sealed off a section.

Navalny, 44, was flown to Berlin from Russia for treatment after he fell ill on a flight on Aug. 20. The global chemical weapons watchdog subsequently confirmed he was poisoned with a new, undeclared variant in the Novichok group of toxins.

Following his release from Berlin’s Charite hospital, he vowed to return to Russia.

The European Union and Britain imposed sanctions on Russian officials over the poisoning on Thursday.

The Kremlin condemned the sanctions as a deliberate and unfriendly step against Moscow and said it would retaliate.

Reporting by Arnd Wiegmann, Writing by Paul Carrel, Editing by Timothy Heritage

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