We demand clarity on how Navalny fell ill, Merkel tells Russia

BERLIN, Aug 20 (Reuters) - Germany insists that the circumstances that led to Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny being taken suddenly ill be cleared up, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, adding that the information so far available did not look good.

She said Germany would provide medical assistance, including making its hospitals available, if it was asked to help Navalny, who fell ill earlier on Thursday and is currently in a coma in Siberia with suspected poisoning.

“I hope he recovers quickly, and if asked to we will provide him with medical assistance, including German hospitals, but the request has to come from there,” she told reporters at a joint news conference in southern France with President Emmanuel Macron.

“What is particularly important is that the circumstances behind this are cleared up very quickly,” she added. “We insist on this, because what we have heard so far is very unfavourable. It must be done very transparently.” (Reporting by Thomas Escritt Editing by Madeline Chambers)