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11 Sep, 2020 12:45

As West threatens sanctions, Kremlin says outsiders shouldn't dictate to Russia how to investigate situation with Navalny

As West threatens sanctions, Kremlin says outsiders shouldn't dictate to Russia how to investigate situation with Navalny

After a week of political figures in various Western states calling for sanctions on Moscow if it fails to investigate the alleged poisoning of Alexey Navalny to their liking, the Kremlin has told them to mind their own business.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that other states should not dictate to Russia what investigative procedures it ought to carry out involving the incident with the anti-corruption activist.

“In fact, an inquiry is underway in the form of what lawyers call a pre-investigation probe. Our agencies are looking into this incident,” Peskov told reporters. “And we don’t like it when other countries tell us what legal steps to take, when they should start and what they should be based on.”

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On Thursday, at a UN Security Council meeting, the US called on Russia to conduct a transparent investigation into what happened to Navalny. Washington's appeal was supported by Belgium, Estonia, Germany and the UK. Russia's representative Vasily Nebenzya said that Moscow has no reason to start a full inquiry at this point, as it is still waiting for Berlin to provide data on the activist's exact condition.

According to Peskov, a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel is not yet planned, but “additional inquiries are possible through other law enforcement agencies that are performing pre-investigation checks.” A request for direct Russian participation in the German investigation is now being prepared by the Siberian regional department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Navalny first fell ill on August 20, on board a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. The plane made an emergency landing in Omsk, where he was placed into an induced coma at a local hospital. Two days later, at the request of his wife, he was flown to Berlin and admitted to the German capital's Charite clinic.On September 7, German doctors said he was brought out of the coma.

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According to authorities in Berlin, Navalny was poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group. Russian doctors say there were no traces of the poison in the opposition figure's body prior to his departure for Berlin.

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