Putin and Merkel discussed Navalny’s poisoning today, but the Kremlin didn’t mention it
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel talked about the poisoning of Russian opposition figure Alexey Navalny during a phone call on Monday, December 7, a spokesperson for the German Cabinet of Ministers told the Russian state news agency TASS.
According to the German government spokesperson, the two leaders discussed Nagorno-Karabakh, Ukraine and the Normandy format negotiations, in addition to Navalny’s poisoning.
The Kremlin’s website, on the other hand, states that Putin and Merkel discussed the situation surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh in detail, as well as the conflict in Ukraine and contacts between their respective health ministries on countering the spread of COVID-19. The Kremlin’s press release contains no mention of a discussion about Navalny’s poisoning — it only says that the heads of state “also touched upon” “certain urgent bilateral issues.”
At the request of Germany and France, the European Union imposed sanctions upon several high-level Russian officials in response to Alexey Navalny’s poisoning.
Tests conducted in Germany revealed that Navalny was poisoned with a Novichok-type nerve agent; this was later confirmed by experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). Berlin has demanded that Russia conduct a transparent investigation into the incident, but Moscow maintains that there is no grounds for a criminal case because tests conducted in Russia didn’t reveal any traces of poisonous substances in Navalny’s system.