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Russia’s foreign minister says the West has it all wrong about Navalny’s poisoning
Speaking to new students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations on September 1, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov fired back at Western criticism that the Russian authorities are dragging their feet on investigating the poisoning of opposition politician Alexey Navalny.
“Demands are made of us that the doctors in Omsk immediately present their findings and that we carry out an investigation into the reason Navalny fell into a coma. Understand that he was in Omsk for just more than a day and even then our Western colleagues were sounding the alarm: ‘Why isn’t there any information?’ Well, now he’s finally in Germany — he’s been there for more than a week — and the German doctors also haven’t shared any information. But nobody is drowning them in any demands or condemning them for trying to hide the truth,” Lavrov said, according to Russia Today.
The foreign minister also denied reports that Russia has refused to investigate the matter. “Beginning the same day that everything happened, our Interior Ministry launched a preliminary inquiry, but an investigation can’t start until we establish what happened, which — I repeat — remains unclear. And the German doctors have yet to provide us with the relevant information,” Lavrov explained.
Alexey Navalny was hospitalized in Omsk on August 20 after becoming violently ill aboard a flight home to Moscow. Ever since, he has been in a coma and breathing through a ventilator. His colleagues and family announced immediately that they believe he was poisoned. Russian doctors say they detected no traces of poison in his system, but doctors in Berlin, where Navalny was transferred on August 22 after some difficulty, say they were able to find evidence of poison.
German and EU officials have called on Russia to investigate Navalny’s apparent poisoning. Vladimir Putin has said he is interested in an objective investigation of what happened. Russia’s Attorney General carried out a preliminary probe but found no grounds for a criminal case. Russia’s Interior Ministry is presently conducting its own probe.
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