Not the president’s prerogative Kremlin spokesman says Putin didn’t hold any international talks about sending Navalny abroad for treatment — but that’s not true
Russian President Vladimir Putin didn’t participate in any talks or decision-making on transporting opposition politician Alexey Navalny from Omsk to Berlin for treatment, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists on August 24. Here’s how the exchange went:
Ekho Moskvy: And did the president [Putin] take part in the decision or any talks on bringing Alexey Navalny from Omsk to [Germany]?
Dmitry Peskov: No. This is absolutely not the president’s prerogative. And we actually said that this is absolutely a medical decision, which was connected to the patient’s health.
Ekho Moskvy: But did the president have any international talks on this topic?
Dmitry Peskov: No. There’s no reason for international talks here. I can only say that in this case, our respective authorities did everything very fast, very quickly. You know that all of these permissions [and] formalities linked to the flight were decided very quickly and without any problems, in fact, after the doctors considered it possible to transport the patient.
That said, the Russian president did take part in at least one international phone call concerning Navalny’s health.
On August 21, Putin spoke with Finnish President Sauli Niinistö — according to the Finnish president’s spokespeople, it was a long conversation about the situation in Belarus, as well as organizing treatment for Alexey Navalny.
In a comment to the Finnish publication Yle, Niinistö confirmed that he had asked to Russian president if it were possible to send Navalny to Germany for treatment; Putin replied that there were no political obstacles preventing this.
In the words of the Kremlin, the two presidents only spoke about the situation in Belarus and “some topical issues in Russian-Finnish relations.”