Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday the Putin administration doesn’t know where European specialists were able to find traces of a Novichok-class nerve agent on Alexey Navalny’s water bottle because Russian police never examined the alleged water bottle.
“We can’t explain this [the discovery of traces of poison on the bottle] because, as you know, the bottle — if there ever was a bottle — was taken somewhere, to Germany or somewhere else. In other words, potential evidence that this was a poisoning was removed, unfortunately. This raises more questions about why. Unable to analyze this bottle in any way, our specialists can’t say anything, of course. There’s too much absurdity in this whole story to take anyone at their word.”
Peskov also expressed doubts that anyone could have transported a poison-laced bottle to Germany without harming others.
“Also, toxicologists say, of course, that it’s unlikely someone could have taken the bottle anywhere if it had traces of a chemical warfare nerve agent. They couldn’t have. There’s so much absurdity here, you see, and there are more questions with each passing day. The only thing that can really shed light on what happened is the exchange of information, sharing biomaterials, exchanging evidence, and doctors working jointly, if necessary, to analyze the situation and do whatever else.
According to Peskov, Vladimir Putin isn’t being briefed about the situation with Navalny, though he says the president would be informed immediately “if there were any traces of chemical weapons [found] on Russian soil.”
The newspapers Die Zeit and Der Spiegel reported earlier this month that German specialists found traces of poison on a water bottle from which Navalny drank before falling ill. The German government has neither confirmed nor denied these reports.
On September 17, Navalny’s associates revealed how the alleged water bottle reached Germany. Immediately after learning that he’d been hospitalized in Omsk, Navalny’s colleagues rushed to his hotel room in Tomsk and gathered every object they thought he may have touched. Jaka Bizilj, the chairman of the Cinema for Peace Foundation (which organized Navalny’s medical evacuation to Germany), says these items were loaded onto the air ambulance that flew Navalny to Berlin (apparently after Navalny’s aides in Tomsk delivered them to Omsk, 555 miles away).