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Just keeping an eye on him Putin dismisses poisoning attack allegations, repeating claims about Navalny’s ties to U.S. intelligence

Source: Meduza
Sergey Bobylev / TASS / Scanpix / LETA

During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual press conference on Thursday, December 17, a journalist from the online outlet “Life” asked him about the August 2020 poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny. “This week an investigation about Alexey Navalny came out. Why hasn’t a criminal case into his poisoning and who poisoned him been opened, tell me, please?” the correspondent asked, referring to a joint investigation that implicated the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) in the poisoning attack. Here’s how Putin responded, word-for-word.

As for, then, this patient, meaning [the one] at the Berlin clinic. I have already spoken about this repeatedly, I can only repeat some things. Well, I know [about the investigation]. [Presidential Press Secretary Dmitry] Peskov actually just told me about the latest fabrications in this regard yesterday, about the information from our intelligences officers and so on. We understand perfectly what this is. […] This isn’t some kind of investigation, it’s the legalization of materials from the American intelligence services. What, we don’t know that they’re location tracking, or what? Our intelligence services understand this very well and they know it. FSB officers know it and other special bodies know it. And they use phones in places where they think they don’t have to hide their place of stay and so on.

If that’s the case — and I assure you, that is the case — this means that this patient at the Berlin clinic enjoys the support of the U.S. intelligence services in the present case. And if this is correct, then it’s curious. Then, of course, the intelligence services ought to keep an eye on him. But this in no way means that it’s necessary to poison him, who needs that? Ha-ha. You see, if they’d wanted to [poison him], they would have finished [the job]. And so…His wife appealed to me and I gave the command to release him for treatment in Germany immediately. At that very second.

Alexey Navalny responded to Putin’s comment on Twitter, saying “I watched it. Putin admitted everything. In his own style, he acknowledged everything. He understood that it’s impossible to deny our reinforced-concrete evidence. That is, yes, the FSB were on my heels for four years, but they didn’t poison me. Because ‘If they’d wanted to poison [me], it would have worked’.” 

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