Okay so I had the time to try this again by now. Loading the save file led me to a crash. Starting a new game and letting the opening cinematics run until I can control Zoe, then pressing escape and loading the file where I am in Europolis seems to prevent the game from crashing though. It's not perfect but at least you can play the game this way.
I can also confim that this works. It got me past the exchange with Nela, but then the game froze again while loading Reza's office. Because there is no autosave between Nela and Reza, I can't even use this trick a second time to keep playing. I'm stuck…again.