Moscow, September 3
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman dismissed allegations Thursday that the Kremlin was concerned in poisoning Putin’s most decided critic, accusing Germany of not offering Moscow with any proof in regards to the situation of Russian dissident Alexei Navalny.
Navalny, a politician and corruption investigator, fell ailing on a flight to Moscow on August 20 and was taken to a hospital within the Siberian metropolis of Omsk. He has been in an induced coma for greater than every week in a Berlin hospital after being flown from Siberia to Germany for remedy greater than every week in the past.
German authorities stated Wednesday that assessments confirmed “proof without doubt” that he had been poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group. British authorities recognized the Soviet-era Novichok because the poison used on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England in 2018.
But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted Thursday that Russian authorities nonetheless had not acquired any proof from Germany to again up their allegation.
“We haven’t received any information so far,” Peskov stated. “We hope that it will happen soon and will help figure out what caused the condition the patient is in right now.”
Peskov reiterated that Russian specialists in Omsk examined Navalny for toxic substances and didn’t discover any in his system. He stated Russian investigators conducting a preliminary inquiry into Navalny’s sickness ought to know “what our German colleagues found and established.”
Following his keep in Omsk, Navalny was moved two days later to Berlin’s Charite hospital after German Chancellor Angela Merkel personally provided the nation’s help in treating him. He’s now in secure situation, however docs count on a protracted restoration and haven’t dominated out that the 44-year-old Navalny may face long-term results to his well being.
Merkel on Wednesday referred to as Navalny’s poisoning an tried homicide that aimed to silence one in every of Putin’s fiercest critics and referred to as for a full investigation.
“There are very serious questions now that only the Russian government can answer, and must answer,” Merkel stated.
Asked about Peskov’s feedback on Thursday, Merkel stated “naturally I am aware of what is being said now” however refused to remark additional.
“I made a comprehensive statement yesterday about what we will do now and in the coming days,” she advised reporters on the chancellery after assembly with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven. “And of course a lot depends on the respective reactions by the Russian government. But I don’t want to add anything further.”
Germany’s Justice Ministry has confirmed they’ve acquired Russia’s request for info, however wouldn’t present particulars on the response.
Leonid Volkov, Navalny’s longtime ally and marketing campaign strategist, advised the German RTL broadcaster Thursday that an unbiased investigation in Russia is unlikely and put the blame within the Kremlin.
“An attack of such level and of such coordination couldn’t be not authorized by Mr. Putin,” Volkov stated.
“I don’t know what legal consequences this should be,” he stated. “But I know for sure what I want to have as an outcome, and this is the political or a moral, ethical consequence: I really want that no foreign leader ever would shake hands with Mr. Putin.” Lofven, becoming a member of a refrain of different world leaders, referred to as for Russia to research and punish these concerned.
“We need to respond,” he stated. “Something happened on an aircraft within Russia, within Russian jurisdiction, so I think it’s fair to say the ball is in your corner now to investigate.”
Merkel additionally declined to touch upon the rising stress for her to make use of a joint German-Russian pipeline venture as leverage in getting Russia to supply solutions on Navalny.
Germany’s opposition Greens social gathering urged her to finish to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline venture, which might ship Russian fuel on to Germany beneath the Baltic when accomplished, bypassing Ukraine.
“The apparent attempted murder by the mafia-like structures of the Kremlin can no longer just give us cause for concern, it must have real consequences,” Green parliamentary group chief Katrin Goering-Eckardt stated.
The Greens have lengthy opposed the pipeline. Merkel has steadily resisted stress from the United States to finish the venture, which Washington says will endanger European safety by making Germany overly depending on Russian fuel. Nord Stream 2 can also be opposed by Ukraine and Poland, which shall be bypassed by the pipeline beneath the Baltic sea, in addition to another European nations.
But even Norbert Roettgen, a number one lawmaker in Merkel’s social gathering, stated “diplomatic rituals are no longer enough.” “After the poisoning … we need a strong European answer, which #Putin understands” Roettgen tweeted. “The EU should jointly decide to stop #NordStream2.” Peskov dismissed the calls to desert Nord Stream 2 as “emotional statements… not based on facts.” He referred to as the pipeline “an international commercial project that is in the interests of Russia, Germany and the entire European continent.”
After docs in Berlin reported final week that Navalny had possible been poisoned, earlier than figuring out Novichok because the nerve agent, Merkel rejected the thought of abandoning the venture.
Merkel has additionally beforehand rejected the thought when it was floated after earlier confrontations with Moscow over incidents nearer to residence — like proof the chancellor’s parliamentary workplace had been hacked by Russia and the killing of a Georgian man in Berlin that prosecutors alleged was a success ordered by the Russian authorities. — AP