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World News

French minister Beaune: Share concerns and fears over Putin critic Navalny

French Junior Minister for European Affairs Clement Beaune, wearing a protective face mask, leaves following the last weekly cabinet meeting before summer vacation break, at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, July 29, 2020. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Files

PARIS (Reuters) - French junior European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune said on Friday that he shared the concerns and fears of others regarding the fate of stricken Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny, and reiterated that France was ready to help him.

Allies of Navalny accused the Kremlin of thwarting his medical evacuation to Germany on Friday, with Navalny fighting for his life after drinking tea that his supporters said they believe was laced with poison.

“I share those fears and the shock caused by this dramatic situation,” Beaune told France Info radio.

French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that France was ready to give Navalny all necessary assistance, including asylum, and that France would closely follow investigations into the cause of Navalny’s illness.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Alex Richardson

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