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25 Aug, 2020 17:32

Poisoning protest leader Navalny ‘would not benefit’ Moscow, says Russian Foreign Ministry, labels Western allegations 'offensive'

Poisoning protest leader Navalny ‘would not benefit’ Moscow, says Russian Foreign Ministry, labels Western allegations 'offensive'

Moscow does not stand to benefit from the alleged poisoning of anti-corruption activist Alexey Navalny, the Russian Foreign Ministry has said, noting the haste with which Western media and governments made the insinuation.

The ministry issued a statement on Tuesday evening, following a meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun, during which the subject of Navalny was raised, among other issues.

Lavrov pointed out the “suspicious haste” with which the narrative about Navalny’s alleged poisoning was picked up in Washington and Brussels and instantly compared to the “poisonings” of Alexander Litvinenko and the Skripals – which were blamed on Moscow before any investigations happened.

The question inevitably arises – who benefits from it? The Russian leadership clearly does not.

The ministry added that accusations of a 'cover-up' made against the Russian doctors who first treated Navalny were untrue.

“We consider deeply offensive the accusations of ‘covering up the truth’, directed from some Western capitals to the doctors in Omsk, who immediately rendered highly professional aid” to Navalny, the ministry said.

"They gave the patient's complete medical history to the team of German doctors," the statement continued. "We hope that the German doctors will show the same professional approach and will not allow the results of their laboratory tests to be used for politicized purposes."

Navalny fell ill during a flight from Tomsk to Moscow on Thursday, and was taken to a hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk, where his condition was stabilized. He was airlifted to Germany on Saturday for further treatment, at the request of his wife and associates. 

On Monday, German doctors said Navalny was poisoned by a substance from the group of cholinesterase inhibitors, but were unable to say which. However, the Omsk hospital unit chief Dr. Alexander Sabayev told reporters the same day that the activist tested negative for any drugs, including cholinesterase inhibitors.

Also on rt.com ‘We found no cholinesterase inhibitors in Navalny's blood’: Omsk's chief toxicologist comments on statement from Berlin's Charite

The European Union has already called for a “comprehensive investigation” of Navalny’s alleged poisoning. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo seconded that on Tuesday, saying that “Navalny’s family and the Russian people deserve to see a full and transparent investigation carried out, and for those involved to be held accountable.”

Dmitry Peskov, spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin, told reporters the German doctors were “rushing” to use the term poisoning, and that an investigation was premature.

“There must be a reason for an investigation. At the moment, all you and I see is that the patient is in a coma,” Peskov told reporters. He added that any suggestions Putin was involved in Navalny’s condition were “hot air” and the Kremlin would not take them seriously.

Meanwhile, the security committee of the Russian parliament has begun an investigation into whether foreign governments were involved in harming Navalny’s health “in order to create tension within Russia, as well as formulate new accusations against our country,” according to its Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin. 

Also on rt.com Doctor who treated Alexey Navalny in Omsk claims he received threats online directed at himself & his children

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