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Navalny Receives Passport But Told To Remain In Russia


Aleksei Navalny's right eye was badly damaged in the attack.
Aleksei Navalny's right eye was badly damaged in the attack.

Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny said on May 4 that he has obtained a passport and hopes to travel abroad for medical treatment, but his lawyer said corrections officials warned him not to leave the country.

Navalny wrote on his website that the Federal Migration Service called him to say that he could pick up his passport.

Navalny, who has been convicted three times in financial-crimes trials that he says are Kremlin-orchestrated punishment for his opposition activity, said that he had been unable to get a passport for five years.

He said he can now go abroad for treatment of an injury suffered when an assailant splashed a green antiseptic known as "zelyonka" on his face in Moscow on April 27.

Navalny wrote that the latest test showed he had lost 85 percent of the vision in his right eye. He has expressed hope that it would be restored.

A few hours after Navalny's post, however, his lawyer, Vadim Kobzev, said a corrections official called and said Navalny should "not dare to even think about" going abroad.

Kobzev said on Twitter that the official said that convicts are not permitted by law to leave the country.

Navalny is seeking to run for president in a March 2018 vote in which Putin is widely expected to seek and secure a new six-year term.

Russian officials have indicated that Navalny may be barred from the ballot after his latest conviction was upheld on appeal on May 3.

With reporting by RFE/RL's Russian Service
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