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NATO’s ‘sacrificial victim’ Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service Director on Navalny’s poisoning, protests in Belarus, and the coronavirus vaccine
In an interview with state media executive Dmitry Kiselyov, Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) Director Sergey Naryshkin offered his take on a range pressing international issues. First and foremost, he weighed in on the poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. But he also found time to mention the coronavirus, political turmoil in Belarus, and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Here’s what he said, in a nutshell.
On Navalny’s poisoning. At the time when blogger Alexey Navalny was in Russia, no toxic substances were found in his tests. But what happened next, in Germany, that’s the question. We have no concrete evidence of the involvement of foreign special services in this provocation, but there is circumstantial evidence. Around a year ago, a meeting was held in one of the NATO countries (not in Germany) to decide how to support the opposition movement in Russia, which has completely shrunk. And there they discussed the question of a “sacrificial victim.” This is verified information. They’ve already used this tool in Ukraine and in former Yugoslavia. The formula of so-called “Novichok” is known and it wouldn’t be difficult for any country to make it.
On everything else. We have no evidence that the coronavirus was produced artificially. The U.S. is accusing Russia of preventing them from getting the vaccine, because they’re trying to hide the flaws in their own healthcare system. In Belarus, Western opponents are using the standard tools of color revolutions, they’re undermining the situation. It’s nothing new. In Nagorno-Karabakh, we’re interacting with the special services of both Azerbaijan and Armenia. We see that Turkish intelligence is working there. But British intelligence isn’t there. The SVR made no claims that journalist Ivan Safronov passed information to the Czech Republic. Working with Putin is a great pleasure, he knows the specifics of our work.
You can read Sergey Naryshkin’s full interview here.
Translation by Eilish Hart
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