Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny while he was undergoing treatment for poisoning in a Berlin hospital, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday.
Seibert confirmed Navalny's own report that the "personal visit" took place, but declined to provide further details.
The visit was first reported by the German magazine Der Spiegel. In a post sharing the article on Twitter, Navalny denied the magazine's claim that the visit was "secret."
"There was a meeting, but you should not call it 'secret,'" the 44-year-old wrote. "Rather, it was a private meeting and a conversation with the family. I am very grateful to Chancellor Merkel for visiting me at the hospital."
Navalny was discharged from the Charite hospital in the German capital last week after undergoing a month of treatment for poisoning. The German NGO that organized his evacuation from Siberia to Berlin said he is determined to return to Russia.
Laboratories in Germany, France and Sweden confirmed that the Kremlin critic was poisoned with a Novichok chemical agent.
The German government has demanded an explanation from the Kremlin regarding the poisoning. Moscow has denied any involvement in the incident and has accused Berlin of obstructing an investigation into the case.
dv,kmm/dr (AFP, Reuters)