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Kremlin sees no grounds for worsening ties with West amid incident with Navalny

The spokesman underscored that Moscow vehemently denies accusations of poisoning the blogger and is interested in establishing the true cause of the circumstances that led to him going into a coma

MOSCOW, August 26. /TASS/. The Kremlin does not see any grounds for the deterioration of ties between Russia and the West amid the incident with blogger Alexei Navalny, who is in a coma in a German clinic.

"First, we don’t want this. Second, there are no grounds for this," Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Wednesday, answering a question if Moscow was afraid that ties with Western states would worsen amid the incident.

Moscow is totally against "pinning down any labels in the current situation and branding as poisoning what has not been confirmed," Peskov stressed. "This is a Russian citizen who is in a coma and we want to find out what was the reason for this coma," he said. 

The spokesman added that Moscow is tolerant to various hasty incriminatory conclusions in a 'highly-likely style', but strongly rejects them.

The presidential spokesman explained that first it was necessary to establish the toxic agent, without which it was impossible to speak about poisoning. He recalled that doctors in Omsk were unable to find this substance in Navalny’s body and it remained unknown whether the German doctors managed to do this. Peskov wished Navalny a speedy recovery.

The spokesman stressed that Moscow is interested in establishing the true cause of the circumstances that led to blogger Alexei Navalny going into a coma no less than other social and political forces. "We are definitely interested, no less than others, in understanding what led to the coma of the patient who is undergoing treatment in a Berlin hospital," he said. "[As for ] various hasty wordings that are so abundantly used that this was poisoning with a high degree of probability, we are patient, but we strongly disagree with that at this stage."

When asked whether the presidential administration believes it is important to study Navalny’s contacts, the Kremlin spokesman said, "I would readdress that question to our law enforcement officials, law enforcement agencies that certainly have their own judgement about the expediency of such actions. Anyway, this is not the presidential administration’s purview," he said.

On August 20, Navalny’s plane en route from Tomsk to Moscow made an emergency landing in Omsk as the blogger felt unwell. Navalny was hospitalized; he was in a coma and was connected to a ventilator. Early on August 22, he was airlifted to Charite clinic in Berlin for treatment. On August 24, German medics claimed that the traces of intoxication with an unknown substance of cholinesterase inhibitor class were discovered in Navalny’s body.