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30 Sep, 2020 20:48

‘Politicizing the issue’: Russian Foreign Ministry accuses Merkel of using Navalny’s alleged poisoning for political gain

‘Politicizing the issue’: Russian Foreign Ministry accuses Merkel of using Navalny’s alleged poisoning for political gain

Angela Merkel's visit to Alexey Navalny was an attempt to politicize the situation, according to Russia's Foreign Ministry. The German Chancellor dropped in to see the Russian opposition figure when he was hospitalized in Berlin.

Speaking to Komsomolskaya Pravda Radio, the Ministry's spokesperson Maria Zakharova said that the chancellor's visit had “nothing to do with the desire to find the truth” about what happened to an opposition figure who was allegedly poisoned, and was simply a political decision.

“Many people ask why,” Zakharova said, when questioned about Merkel's motives. “I think these questions should be addressed to the German side … we regard it as an attempt to politicize the issue.”

Also on rt.com Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny confirms Angela Merkel visited him in Berlin hospital, expresses gratitude to Chancellor

The current communication between Moscow and Berlin is an “endless game of tag,” with Germany refusing to use official channels, Zakharova claimed.

On Monday, Navalny confirmed that the chancellor had met with him in Berlin's Charite hospital. The opposition figure denied that the meeting was “secret,” calling it a “private conversation with (his) family.” The visit was also confirmed by German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert, who clarified that Berlin does not announce Merkel's private meetings. According to German magazine Der Spiegel, which first broke the news of the encounter, it “should be regarded as a clue for the Russian government that Berlin will not give in and will find out the truth [behind the incident].”

On August 20, Navalny was hospitalized in the Siberian city of Omsk after he became ill on a flight from Tomsk to Moscow. Two days later, after a request from his family and associates, the activist was flown to Berlin for treatment at the city's Charite clinic. Over a week later, German authorities announced that the anti-corruption activist was poisoned with a substance from the Novichok group of nerve agents. The medical team in Omsk denies that any poison was found in Navalny's body. On September 23, he was discharged from hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

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