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Russian, British diplomats discuss Belarus, Navalny case — Russian Foreign Ministry

The high-ranking diplomats also touched on the state of bilateral relations

MOSCOW, September 23. /TASS/. Russia’s First Deputy Foreign Minister Vladimir Titov held talks on the phone on Wednesday with Wendy Morton, Minister for European Neighborhood and the Americas at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), which focused on the Belarus crisis and the case of Russian blogger Alexey Navalny, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

During the phone conversation requested by the British side, the diplomats exchanged views on a variety of issues, including the Belarus crisis.

"The Russian side has emphasized that it is inadmissible to interfere in internal political processes in that country and to attempt to destabilize and impose unilateral mediatory services from outside and also pointed out that it is necessity to give the people of Belarus an opportunity to define for themselves how to organize a nationwide dialogue," the Foreign Ministry stressed.

"Answering a question about Navalny’s alleged poisoning, [Titov] pointed out that Russian specialists and profile agencies stayed ready for close cooperation with Germany within the framework of legal assistance which Berlin was evading," the ministry added.

The high-ranking diplomats touched on the state of bilateral relations. Moscow stated that during the conversation the Russian diplomat pointed to inadmissibility of hostile remarks made by British officials in regard to Russia. Instead, Russia suggested that the UK should take practical steps to mend ties and to build the foundation for a positive agenda in bilateral relations.

"[They] confirmed mutual interest in cooperation within multilateral efforts against the coronavirus pandemic and climate change," the Russian Foreign Ministry added.


Navalny case

Navalny was rushed to a local hospital in the Siberian city of Omsk on August 20 after collapsing on a Moscow-bound flight from Tomsk. He fell into a coma and was put on a ventilator in an intensive care unit. On August 22, he was airlifted to Berlin and admitted to the Charite hospital.

On September 2, Berlin claimed that having examined Navalny’s test samples, German government toxicologists had come to the conclusion that the blogger had been affected by a toxic agent belonging to the Novichok family.

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Russia was ready for comprehensive cooperation with Germany. He pointed out that no poisonous substances had been detected in Navalny’s system prior to his transfer to Berlin. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the German Foreign Office had not provided the Russian ambassador with any proof of its version of the incident.