It might be a sign of how seriously foreign leaders are taking the case of Alexei Navalny's poisoning: German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a private visit to the Russian opposition leader while he was hospitalized in Berlin, reports the Guardian. German media broke the news Sunday, characterizing it as a "secret" visit. Navalny has since confirmed, though he thinks "secret" is the wrong word. “There was a meeting, but one shouldn’t call it secret,” Navalny wrote in a tweet, per the AP. “Rather, (it was) a private visit and a conversation with the family. I’m very grateful to chancellor Merkel for visiting me in the hospital."
A Merkel spokesperson agreed. "It was a personal meeting between the chancellor and Mr. Navalny,” he said. “It was a meeting with a person who fell sick after a nerve agent attack and who is being treated in Germany." Navalny, 44, has been released from the hospital since the visit and is now recuperating at an undisclosed location in Germany. Multiple international labs says he was poisoned by a Soviet-developed nerve agent that has been used on other critics of Russia. The Kremlin has denied any involvement, and Russian doctors have disputed that he was poisoned at all. (Read more Alexei Navalny stories.)