MOSCOW/BERLIN – The German government’s claims over the affair of Russian blogger Alexei Navalny are another information campaign targeted against Russia, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on the program 60 Minutes on the Rossiya-1 television channel.
“Instead of thorough investigation and scrupulous joint work with the aim of obtaining authentic results our partners prefer to make more public statements without presenting any facts. All this is another information campaign,” she stated, according to TASS.
“What is most important and sad at the same time is that our partners openly neglect – today it was demonstrated very clearly – the available mechanisms of legal interaction for obtaining genuine results,” Zakharova added.
She recalled that on August 27 the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office dispatched an official request for legal assistance based on the findings of the Russian Interior Ministry’s investigators but has not received any response to this day.
“The German government turned the microphone on and said what it said. As far as we understand, the target audience of today’s statements were the European Union and NATO. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was mentioned for some reason as well. All this was done instead of what should have been done first thing – a reply to the query from the Russian Prosecutor-General’s Office,” Zakharova noted.
Alexei Navalny was taken to the hospital in Omsk on August 20 after he felt sick on a plane en route from Tomsk to Moscow. He sank into a coma and was put on a lung ventilator. Later he was delivered to Berlin’s Charite hospital, where doctors said they had found traces of intoxication in the patient’s blood. The medics now say that the symptoms of intoxication are gradually easing.
The German Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday said that German toxicologists had allegedly identified traces of a Novichok class agent in Navalny’s body. Berlin claimed Moscow should “clarify the circumstances of the incident” and promised to inform the Russian ambassador on the results of tests.
The German Cabinet’s spokesperson, Steffen Seibert, said Germany would inform the EU, NATO and the OPCW on the latest findings concerning the Navalny incident and together with its partners would “take measures depending on Moscow’s response”. He added nothing, though, about what such measures might be like.
German officials also stated they have “indisputable evidence” Navalny was targeted with Novichok. Still, no evidence was presented to the public to this day. Even if true, why would Russia let Navalny be sent to Germany with traces of the nerve agent? It would be highly counterintuitive. In addition, it seems that Russia “keeps using a very low-quality Novichok”, since “it has failed before in Salisbury“.