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Poisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny announced Wednesday that he would soon fly home to Russia — defying the assassination plot and threats to throw him behind bars.
The main opposition leader to President Vladimir Putin announced on social media that he has bought tickets for a flight home Sunday.
“Come meet me,” he teased Russian officials, adding a winking emoji.
Navalny, 44, insisted he never questioned returning from his rehabilitation in Germany, even though he had arrived there in a coma in August after being poisoned with the Soviet-era nerve agent Novichok.
“It was not my choice to come to Germany… I ended up here because they tried to kill me,” he said in an Instagram video, according to a translation by Agence France-Presse (AFP).
“Russia is my country, Moscow is my city. I miss them,” he said of his homeland.
Once again blaming Putin for ordering his poisoning, Navalny also blamed the president for demanding his imprisonment if he steps back home over alleged embezzlement and money-laundering.
“Putin is stamping his feet demanding to do everything so that that I don’t return home,” Navalny said on Instagram.
“The people who tried to kill me got offended because I survived and now they are threatening to put me behind bars,” he said.
“They are doing everything to scare me … The only thing left for Putin to do is to put up a giant billboard on top of the Kremlin saying ”Alexei, please don’t return home under any circumstances!”
Navalny has been in Germany ever since it agreed to fly him in intensive care after his poisining on Aug. 20.
German government spokeswoman Ulrike Demmer said Berlin has “taken note” of his plans to return home.
“Mr. Navalny is free to make his decision and that we are glad he recovered after this attack that was carried out on him,” German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said.
The Kremlin has always denied any part in attacking him — even suggesting he may have poisoned himself.
Putin has insisted it could not have been the work of his agents because “they probably would’ve finished it” and successfully killed him.
With Post wires
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