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Kremlin sees no reason to blame Navalny incident on Russia

The Kremlin hopes that Germany will share its findings on the Navalny case with Russia
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov Vitaliy Nevar/TASS
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov
© Vitaliy Nevar/TASS

MOSCOW, September 3. /TASS/. There is no reason to blame Russia for what happened to blogger Alexei Navalny, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"I would choose words carefully when speaking about accusations against the Russian state because there are no accusations at the moment and there is no reason to accuse the Russian state," he pointed out. "We aren’t inclined to accept any accusations in this regard," the Russian presidential spokesman added.

Peskov said that he did not see people and forces in Russia that could benefit from the suspected poisoning of Navalny.

"I cannot answer your question who could benefit from that person’s poisoning. As a matter of fact, I don’t think that anyone could stand to gain from that, if one just takes a sober look at things," Peskov said.

"We certainly would not like our partners in Germany and other European countries to jump to conclusions and make assessments," Peskov noted, adding that Moscow would like to maintain the dialogue on the issue with them.

No information from Germany

Peskov expressed hope that Germany would share its findings on the Navalny case with Russia.

"We are undoubtedly interested in determining the cause of what happened to the Berlin patient. Our investigative agencies conduct all necessary inspections. The information from Germany would definitely help those inspections. So far, we have received no information but we hope that this will happen shortly," Peskov said.

Russian Prosecutor General’s Office requested legal aid on the Navalny case from Germany, but received no response, Peskov said, adding that no proof of Russia’s involvement in the incident has been presented to the Russian Ambassador to Germany as well.

"Russian Prosecutor General’s Office filed a request of legal aid to Berlin, which was received by Germany. There has been no response yet," he said, adding that "during the conversation at the Foreign Ministry, our Ambassador in Berlin has not been presented with any exact information on the German specialists’ examinations, which led them to the conclusion about the poisoning."

Russia has been clarifying the situation surrounding Navalny from the very beginning, one has to be deaf not to hear that, Peskov said.

"Everyone has been clarifying the situation, both in the Kremlin and at the level of our specialists. One has to be deaf not to hear that," he said.

No grounds for investigation

Russian investigators have no grounds for launching a criminal investigation into alleged poisoning of Navalny without data provided by Germany, according to Peskov.

"We don’t have information from our colleagues in Berlin. After all tests, which were carried out, all biological samples and so on, our specialists - these are doctors and toxicologists - did not find any toxic agents," Peskov said answering a question if the Kremlin saw any grounds for launching criminal investigation after Germany announced its conclusions on the incident with Navalny.

The Kremlin spokesman stressed that Russia was very interested in establishing the reasons of the incident with the blogger. According to him, the data provided by German colleagues could help Russian investigators understand the reason for Navalny’s current condition.

Peskov also recalled that the Russian Interior Ministry was carrying out a pre-investigation probe and all necessary investigative actions without any instructions from the president. According to him, no special presidential instruction was needed here.

No reason for Putin's statement

Peskov told the media he saw no reason why President Vladimir Putin should make any special statement on the incident involving Navalny.

"We see no reasons why the head of state should make any special statements," Peskov said.

In the wake of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement Navalny had allegedly fell victim to poisoning with a Novichok class nerve agent Peskov said that "once the Federal Chancellor has made such a statement, she must have some substantial results of tests by specialists at her disposal."

"Without knowing what the results are we are unable to make comments," Peskov said. 

Navalny felt sick on August 20 while flying from Tomsk to Moscow and the plane made an emergency landing in Omsk. The blogger was taken to hospital in a state of coma and was connected to a lung ventilator. He was airlifted to the Berlin-based Charite clinic on August 22. The German doctors said that indicators of poisoning had been found in his body.

On Wednesday, the German government said that German military toxicologists found that Navalny had been exposed to a nerve agent of the Novichok class. Berlin called on Moscow to clarify the circumstances of the incident and promised to inform the Russian ambassador about the results of testing Navalny’s samples.