Russia’s foreign minister dismisses investigation implicating FSB in Navalny poisoning
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has dismissed a recent investigative report connecting the August 2020 poisoning of opposition figure Alexey Navalny to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB). Lavrov commented on the investigation during a press conference in Zagreb on Wednesday, December 16, which was reported on by Interfax.
All this news is amusing to read, but the manner in which it is presented says only one thing: that our Western partners don’t have any ethical standards and lack any skills of normal diplomatic work and [are unwilling] to comply with international legal norms when it comes to establishing facts.
According to the foreign minister, Moscow is “already accustomed” to Western countries “announcing accusations against Russia in the media, be it hackers, [or] be it some kind of sensation about the double and even triple poisoning of Navalny.” “It turned out that the first time his wife was poisoned,” Lavrov noted.
And the logic is this: they say, we announced for example, new facts that were discovered by the German special services about Navalny’s poisoning, but Moscow has been silent for two days already. If [Russia] is silent, it means she’s guilty. In my opinion, the flaw in this approach is obvious to any sane person.
On December 14, Bellingcat, The Insider, CNN, and Der Spiegel published an investigation implicating a special FSB sub-unit in poisoning Alexey Navalny with a Novichok-type nerve agent, after following him for several years. Navalny himself concluded that such an operation couldn’t have been carried out without the approval of FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The investigation also says that about two months before Navalny’s poisoning in Tomsk, this same group of FSB operatives attempted to poison him in Kaliningrad, causing his wife Yulia to fall mysteriously ill.
Navalny released a video about the investigation on his YouTube channel, which gained more than six million views within the first day. The Kremlin has yet to comment on the investigation: Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov cancelled his daily press briefings on December 15 and 16.