Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed to his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, that ungrounded accusations against Russia over the hospitalization of opposition blogger Alexei Navalny are inappropriate, the Kremlin press service said on Monday after a telephone conversation between the two leaders.
"The sides discussed in detail the situation around the so-called Navalny case. Vladimir Putin stressed the inappropriateness of unsubstantiated, ungrounded accusations of the Russian side in this context," it said.
"It was stressed that in order to clarify what really happened German specialists must hand over biomaterials and official findings derived from the analysis of Navalny’s samples to Russia. They should also establish joint work with Russian medics," TASS quoted the press service as saying.
"The sides agreed to work towards establishing parameters of possible cooperation with European partners on that matter," it added.
Navalny 'poisoning' saga
Navalny felt sick on August 20 while flying from Tomsk to Moscow, prompting the plane to make an emergency landing in Omsk. The opposition politician was taken to hospital in a state of coma and was connected to a ventilator. He was airlifted to the Berlin-based Charite clinic on August 22. Its doctors said that indicators of poisoning had been found in his body.
The German government said on September 2 that German military toxicologists had found that Navalny had been exposed to a nerve agent of the Novichok family. Following this, Berlin and its Western partners demanded Moscow clarify the circumstances of the incident and warned they would look at possible sanctions against Moscow.
The Russian side stresses that it is interested in a thorough investigation of the incident and is ready for all-round cooperation with Germany on that matter. Apart from that, Moscow points to the fact that no toxic agent had been spotted in Navalny’s samples before he was taken to Germany whereas the latter has given no evidence to back its theory.
Charite medics said on September 7 Navalny had been taken out of the medically-induced coma and was being disconnected from the ventilator.
On September 14, the German government said that three independent laboratories, including the ones in France and Sweden, had confirmed the presence of Novichok-type substances in Navalny’s samples.
The German side said earlier it had referred Navalny’s samples to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). However, Russia’s mission to that organization said on September 10 that this statement had nothing to do with the real state of things.